Inactivity levels high in borough

Lack of exercise is one of the main contributing factors in obesity
Lack of exercise is one of the main contributing factors in obesity

New data has shown that borough residents are some of the most inactive in the region, just days after we reported they are among the most obese people in the country.


Statistics released this month by Public Health England have revealed that a whopping 28.1 per cent of people in the borough admit to being completely inactive.

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The survey, using data from 2016/17, portrays physical activity undertaken by residents in every local authority in England.

In line with the shocking obesity figures, the number of physically inactive people in the borough is well-above the national average of 22 per cent and it is the third laziest area in the North West after Blackpool and Rochdale.

A person is considered physically inactive if they do less than 30 minutes of exercise per week.

Public Health England has said that in light of the recent obesity stats released by the NHS earlier this month, getting people healthy remains a priority.

Rebecca Wagstaff, deputy director of Public Health England North West, said: “These figures show obesity and its associated health risks remain a significant challenge across the North West.

“We’re working with industry and local partners to make food healthier, we’ve produced guidance for councils on planning healthier towns and we’re delivering campaigns encouraging people to choose healthier food and lead healthier lives.

“It’s taken many years for levels of obesity to reach this point and change will not happen overnight.”

Worringly, the borough is one of the laziest in the region despite having much more access to woodland than other more urban areas.

The most recent assessment, made in 2015, shows that 42.7 per cent of the population in Wigan live within 500m of accessible woodland, compared to just 23.1 per cent in Stockport, which comparably has one of the lowest levels of inactivity in the region, with only 16.4 per cent of its residents not getting the bare minimum amount of exercise.