By Beth Webb
Colchester’s parks and streets are being transformed into an interactive virtual playground through a new app. Street Tag is encouraging residents to get active and explore their local area. Users can compete for points by walking, running and cycling to geotags dotted around the town.
The app is taking a new approach to exercise with the aim of getting “every family, everywhere, physically active”.
The Essex Local Delivery Pilot, an initiative led by Active Essex to promote “build healthier, more active communities”, reports that an estimated “250,000 adults in Essex are inactive… and nearly 20% of 10 year olds are obese”.
From 2014 to 2015, the NHS spent an estimated £6.1 billion on overweight and obesity-related ill-health.
The app has already been brought to Oxfordshire County and the London Borough of Newham, and has now been brought to Colchester by a partnership between Colchester Borough Council and the Essex Local Delivery Pilot, described as a scheme “tackling the inequalities which prevent people in Essex from enjoying an active lifestyle”.
Anyone who downloads the app has the ability to form together to compete in teams. Everyone involved can see their progress displayed in points and their position on a group leader board.
Participants can record their distance walked, ran or cycled by collecting virtual tags with their smartphone at various locations, watching points accumulate to climb their team’s leader board, creating healthy competition whilst rediscovering their wonderful surroundings and earning prizes along the way.