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Insight informing design of physical activity

Understanding the causes of physical inactivity is key to enabling change.

That’s why ecda joined the Essex Local Delivery Pilot team (LDP) in its journey to build healthier, more active communities across Essex. By bringing together a mass of available data on health behaviours and matching it with data on things like available green spaces and crime rates, ecda discovered similarities between communities and identified which neighbourhoods in Essex participate in less than 30 minutes of physical activity and why.

An online dashboard was created so that colleagues in the LDP could identify the areas most in need, and determine whether free bikes or bongos will have more success initiating activity and kickstarting new community groups. The tool is available here via the Open Data website.

The online tool highlighted seven areas in Basildon where activity is lowest and where the most gains could be made through offering free activities. The insight provided by ecda helped the LDP to understand that people fear using local parks and open spaces because they perceive crime to be high and the amount of free facilities to be low. As a consequence the LDP wanted to deliver a service that would entice greater numbers of people to use free community assets such as parks, address and reduce their fears of exercising in isolation, and create a greater sense of ownership of their community spaces.

Basildon Street Tag 

The Street Tag app was launched by Basildon Council to bring communities together with outdoor or indoor exercise, by turning streets into a giant virtual playground. It rewards friends, families and individuals for being active by giving points every time they go for a walk, run, bike ride and as a result they move up their local leader board to win prizes such as amazon vouchers, gift cards and sports equipment.

The Street Tag app was launched for schools and communities in the seven most inactive communities identified by the ecda insight.

Progress so far in Basildon Street Tag Season 1:

  • 47,469 families collected tags in Basildon
  • 20,299 miles covered
  • 13,971,816 steps made.

Essex is one of 12 pilots chosen by Sport England to test innovative approaches that could unlock something groundbreaking for the whole country and find solutions that increase activity levels and health and wellbeing of individuals and families, and that are genuinely replicable and sustainable making local communities more vibrant, connected, and resilient.

page updated 26/11/20