Beat the Street Burnley was a step in the right direction for thousands

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Beat the Street Burnley helps 70% of inactive adults and 42% of less active children to become more active

The six-week initiative that turned Burnley into a giant physical activity game in 2021 has helped thousands of people of all ages to get moving.

The free game took place in September and October and inspired people of all ages and abilities to make positive lifestyle changes. Using special sensors called Beat Boxes attached to lampposts around the town, the initiative rewarded school, workplace and community teams with prizes for walking, cycling and rolling within the game area.

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A total of 10,523 people took part, including 33 primary schools, 10 workplaces, nine community groups, four nurseries and childcare groups, three sports clubs and two libraries. During the six-week challenge, players clocked up a total of 80,346 active travel miles.

Worsthorne Primary School pupils took part in Beat the StreetWorsthorne Primary School pupils took part in Beat the Street
Worsthorne Primary School pupils took part in Beat the Street

One participant said: "Most of the miles we walked over the six weeks were purely down to playing Beat the Street.

"We really enjoyed the social aspect of meeting friends at times when we probably wouldn’t have normally. It benefited us hugely staying active in all weather and at all times of day and night. Myself and three others from our group have signed up to a 10k race in February. This has materialised from playing Beat the Street and isn’t something I would have ever considered doing before.”

Participants were surveyed on their lifestyle habits before and after the game. Registration data was collected on 6,614 people at the start of the game. Following the game phase, participants were invited to complete the health survey again, with a further 5,428 people completing the survey. Matched data analysis shows that 70% of inactive adults became active and 42% of less active children (achieving less than 30 minutes per day) became active.

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Paul Foster, deputy chief executive at Burnley Leisure and Culture said: “Throughout the game, we received lots of positive feedback from participants who got in touch to let us know that Beat the Street had helped them to create positive lifestyle habits from getting more physically active, to walking and cycling more, as well as other benefits such as helping friends and families spend time together.

“The pandemic has of course had an impact on everyone’s mental health too, and we were pleased to see that the Beat the Street Burnley game helped people to explore the area’s green spaces and waterways and to find some peace in nature.”

Additionally, using the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence return on investment tool for physical activity, for every pound spent on delivering the game, the economy benefited by £6,91, transport by £1.70 and healthcare by £6.79.

Beat the Street Burnley was brought to you by Burnley Together with the Canal and River Trust, and delivered by Intelligent Health.

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Burnley Together works in partnership with Burnley Council, Calico Homes, Lancashire County Council, Burnley Leisure, Burnley FC in the Community, BPRCVS and other partners across the public, private, and voluntary sectors to create a central community hub.

Initially established to help and support residents across the borough during the coronavirus outbreak with everyday needs, Burnley Together has become a pivotal point of contact for support enquiries across a wide range of issues.

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