How Fit & Healthy Is Cardiff?

By Aaron Morton

Cardiff Bay run

There is a lot to admire about Cardiff; rugby, great for shopping while beaches & mountains are less than an hour away.

But, does Cardiff have a healthy population?

Bute Park Cardiff

We may have our fair share of Greggs and I saw my first sighting of battered creme egg the other day but Cardiff is relatively stable in the weight front. Adult obesity accounts for 19% of the population compared to 21% in Swansea (1). Cardiff also has relatively low childhood obesity levels at 21% compared to the Welsh average at 26%.

Compare this with the highest level of obesity which is Rotherham where 33% of the population is obese and a further 46% are overweight (2). However before you celebrate it is worth noting the UK as a whole is rated the most obese nation in Europe (3). We can certainly do a lot more to bring those numbers down.

In some evidence of the what may influence this, 51% within Wales do no cardio activity in their week (4). In another study of Cardiff health, it showed In terms of activity, those who were active for more than 150 mins was 57% while those who were active for less than 30 minutes (generally inactive) was 29%.

Cardiff Running

Whilst these figures are pretty good, they can be improved upon. With the bustling community of ParkRun in Bute Park and Grangetown (all free!) and the multiple low price gyms available in principality stadium and the Capital centre to name a few, they’re are plenty of options available.

For those who feel they need more direction, why not get help from a personal trainer in Cardiff like myself to guide you into developing healthy behaviours.

Another factor is Cardiff has the highest % of residents who drink above the weekly guidelines (5). Cardiff St Mary’s Street will be most pleased with this finding!

Recent research showed more than 3.5 hours of TV viewing a day can influence cognitive decline. Within Wales the average is 3.43 hours a day, making it the second highest viewers of TV among the 4 regions of the UK (Clearly it’s too cold up in Scotland to do anything else!).

An indicator of the primary passion of Cardiff and Wales as a whole, the most viewed programme of 2017 (most recent figures) was Wales vs. Ireland in the 6 Nations (6).

Cardiff Castle Rugby

These are some indicators that show, on the whole Cardiff is getting healthier, but there is still a way to go in order to be a truly healthy region. A template you can begin to use as a guideline is what the Welsh government use when gathering health surveys. It is called the ‘5 healthy lifestyle behaviours’ and they include;

  1. Not smoking (a no brainer to start with)
  2. Not drinking alcohol above weekly guidelines (less than 14 units a week, male & female)
  3. Eating 5 or more portions of fruit and veg a day (think, eat a multitude of different colours)
  4. Be physically active for at least 150 minutes a week (aim to get in a mix of cardio and resistance training).
  5. Maintaining a healthy weight/BMI for your gender & height (Aim to partner this with your hip to waist ratio for a more accurate measure)

This is a basic guideline, but it is certainly a start. For more of a tailor made approach specific to your preference and life priorities, why not try personal training session with me where I provide a free session to give you an idea of whether PT is to your liking. If you are interested in finding out more about how to get your free session fill in your details below.

 

References

  1. http://www.wales.nhs.uk/news/41490
  2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/0/englands-obesity-hotspots-does-area-compare/
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/10/uk-most-obese-country-in-western-europe-oecd-report-finds
  4. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/more-half-people-wales-absolutely-11234352
  5. https://gov.wales/docs/statistics/2018/180627-national-survey-2017-18-population-health-lifestyle-en.pdf
  6. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/116011/media-nations-2018-wales.pdf

About the Author

Aaron Morton is about human performance. As a coach and personal trainer, Aaron works with entrepreneurs to create the environment, mentally, physically & strategically, where they can perform at their best.

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