Falkirk area residents 'more active' after playing Beat the Street game

A physical activity challenge that transformed parts of Falkirk district into a real life game has proven to be a success.

Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 12:30 pm

The innovative Beat the Street Forth and Clyde encouraged adults and children in Bonnybridge and Camelon to become more active by walking, running, rolling or cycling to score points by travelling between special sensors called Beat Boxes.

The initiative took place in September and October 2020 and saw 2185 people cover 15,275 miles over a month.

A report produced by the company that delivers the game, Intelligent Health, reveals players became more physically active as a result of taking part.

Transport Minister Michael Matheson (centre), Falkirk West MSP, at The Falkirk Wheel for the launch of Beat the Street Forth and Clyde. (From left) Robyn Wauberton, Paths For All; Ian Howarth, chairman of Falkirk and Forth Valley LEADER; Craig McGarrie, Beat the Street development manager; and Catherine Topley, chief executive officer of Scottish Canals. Picture: Helen Barrington.

Participants were surveyed at the start of the game and immediately after to see if their activity habits had changed.

Prior to the game, 27 per cent of adults were less active and did not achieve the government’s recommended guideline of 150-plus minutes of physical activity a week.

Following Beat the Street, there was a 15 per cent decrease in the proportion of adults reporting being less active.

There was also a 19 per cent rise in the proportion of adults achieving 150-plus minutes of activity per week.

The survey also revealed the Beat the Street game had a positive impact on mental health among adult players.

During registration, only 21 per cent of children met the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes every day.

Following Beat the Street, there was a 10 per cent decrease in the proportion of children reporting being less active.

The number of children reporting meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines increased by 4 per cent.

As well as helping people get more active, another aim was to increase footfall along the Forth and Clyde canal, particularly active travel.

In general, there was a 12 per cent increase in residents using the canals daily; an 11 per cent hike in residents walking along the canals daily and a 5 per cent jump in cyclists using the route.

Beat the Street Forth and Clyde is delivered by Intelligent Health on behalf of the Central Canals Development Project, co-ordinated by the Green Action Trust and funded by the Kelvin Valley and Falkirk LEADER Programme and Paths for All's Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund.

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