People keeping active after Beat the Street

Residents of Weymouth and Portland are still making healthy lifestyle changes a Beat the Street report has revealed.

Over 8,000 children and adults walked, cycled, jogged and scooted 76,376 miles when Beat the Street came to Weymouth and Portland in October and November 2018.

Beat the Street, funded by Public Health Dorset, aimed to get people in Weymouth and Portland exploring the county by foot or by bike by turning their communities into a giant game for six weeks.

The game worked by placing special sensors called Beat Boxes across the areas which could be tapped with cards and fobs to earn points – players competed against each other part of school, community and workplace teams with the top teams earning hundreds of pounds worth of prizes.

Adults and children who played the game were asked to complete a survey when the game started and six months since the game. The results are:

  • 24 per cent of adults were inactive at the start of the programme. This reduced to 10 per cent six months later
  • There was an 18 per cent increase in adults reporting meeting the recommended levels of physical activity
  • The proportion of children who reported as inactive decreased by 29 per cent
  • The number of children meeting the recommended guidelines for physical activity increased by 14 per cent

The changes highlighted in the report suggest that Beat the Street has helped encourage thousands of people in Weymouth and Portland who did little to no exercise before the game, to become more active by walking, running or cycling around their community.

Jane Macleod, from Weymouth said: “Now the weather is nicer I often get out for a walk in the evenings. There were Beat the Street beat boxes close to my house, so I often do the same loop around those locations. I’ve found that my pace has also increased. I’m going to keep this up. It’s a sustainable change. If I hadn’t had the prompt through Beat the Streets, I wouldn’t have made the effort.”

Councillor Laura Miller, Dorset Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “I played Beat the Street with my youngest son and we had great fun. I’m really pleased to see that Beat the Street has had such a significant impact in Weymouth & Portland. It is great to see that the enthusiasm that was showed while the game was being played has continued six months later.

“Small changes to your routine can make big impacts to your health. We have loads of places to explore in Dorset so I hope everyone keeps up the good work.”

Dr William Bird, Intelligent Health CEO, who delivered Beat the Street, said: The response to Beat the Street was incredible in Weymouth and Portland with more than 8,000 people walking, running and cycling as part of the game. Not only did Beat the Street manage to engage thousands in Dorset, but these results show that the game has helped break down many of the barriers to becoming active and helped people keep moving long after the challenge has finished.”

Notes to editors

For more information contact Public Health Dorset’s Communications Team on 01305 225284.

For more information about Public Health Dorset visit https://www.publichealthdorset.org.uk/ or sign up to our Health and Wellbeing e-newsletter www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/e-news

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