Hartlepool ‘among worst areas in country for proportion of couch potatoes’

More than a quarter of people in the town do less than 30 minutes exercise a week
More than a quarter of people in the town do less than 30 minutes exercise a week

Hartlepool has one of the highest rates of couch potatoes in the country according to a national survey.

New figures published by Sport England, which is part of the Department of Health, show that over a quarter of adults in town do less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.

Hartlepool Borough Hall hosts regular tea dances

Hartlepool Borough Hall hosts regular tea dances

Town public health chiefs say they are dedicated to encouraging people to get more active and have introduced various programmes, but admits there is still a lot more to do.

Sport England’s Active Lives Survey 2015-16 shows that Hartlepool falls into the highest inactivity range with between 25% and 32% of adults doing less than half an hour of exercise a week.

The estimated inactivity rate for the town is 26.9%.

It is the second highest rate for the Neath East, behind South Tyneside where the inactivity level is an estimated 31.5%.

We remain absolutely committed to using every possible opportunity to encourage people of all ages to lead more active and healthier lives

Hartlepool Borough Council

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “We remain absolutely committed to using every possible opportunity to encourage people of all ages to lead more active and healthier lives.

“This is the first time Sport England has produced the Active Lives survey and their previous Active People survey clearly showed we had made some significant improvements.

“For example in 2016, nearly 27% of adults in the town carried out at least three thirty minute sessions of moderate exercise per week – more than any other part of the North East.

“We acknowledge that we still have a lot of work to do but believe programmes such as Hartlepool Exercise for Life and Feel Good in Hartlepool – which aims to get more people active by increasing participation in triathlon, sailing, multi sports and dance – will help increase activity levels across the town.”

Just over 11% of Hartlepool adults are said to be ‘fairly active’ doing between 30 and 149 minutes of exercise a week.

And 64.1% of people are said to do more than 150 minutes of exercise a week.

It comes as Hartlepool’s latest Health Profile states that an estimated 73% of town adults are overweight or obese, the highest level in the North East and fourth highest in the whole country.

Nationally, 25.6% of adults did less than 30 minutes of activity a week.

Tim Fitches, of walking charity Living Streets, said: “By making small changes to our daily routines – skipping a stop on public transport, walking to the local shops or parking further away – we can reduce the risk of significant health issues including heart disease, cancer, depression and type 2 diabetes as well as getting fitter and happier in the process.”