A digital game designed to encourage people to get active will be rolled out across more parts of the country thanks to funding from The National Lottery.
Beat the Street involves placing ‘Beat Boxes’ in green spaces, areas of local interest and community hubs.
Over a six-week period, players are encouraged to run, walk or cycle around these spaces, clocking their miles as they go to earn points.
They can also tap the boxes using special cards to gain extra points for their schools or community groups, with leading scorers winning prizes.
Currently, Beat the Street is live in Torbay, Weymouth and Portland, Swindon, Poole and Purbeck.
A £3.32 million grant from The National Lottery means the project can now be extended to a further 59 cities across the South West and East Midlands over the next three years.
Beat the Street was created by William Bird, who is the founder of Intelligent Health, a company which promotes healthy activity in communities.
Bird said: Walking isn’t just a physical activity, it’s a social interaction where people can connect with the outdoors and rediscover their roots.
“As doctors our role is based on reaction, we recommend activity and prescribe medicine, but Beat the Street focuses on preventing illnesses in the first place. Moving upstream from the NHS, we are changing behaviors in whole towns and whole cities.
“It’s amazing to see people taking ownership and mass participation with some schemes having over 40,000 people playing in just a week or two.”
Bird added that he believes the extension of Beat the Street will mean another 655,000 people will be able to get more active.
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