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Health of Richmond residents ‘very good,’ survey says

Two of five Richmond residents rate their health as excellent or very good, while one in five say it’s fair or poor, according to a new report.

“Overall, and by national standards, the health of Richmond residents is very good,” said Dr. James Lu, Richmond’s medical health officer, in a news release.

Presented Tuesday to a city council committee, the Healthy Richmond 2012 report—drafted by Vancouver Coastal Health—comprises data collected from 3,639 adults in a 35-question survey last spring.

In online and in-person surveys, residents were surveyed about their general health, physical activity, eating and smoking habits and connection to the community.

Researchers found just one-third of local residents are meeting the recommended 150 minutes per week of physical activity and 21 per cent are eating the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

The report concluded that most Richmond adults need to be more physically active.

“Increasing the proportion of people who commute with active modes (bicycling or walking) may be one way to increase the proportion of people who are meeting physical activity targets,” said the report.

The report also revealed residents born in Canada are more likely to exercise regularly (40 per cent) than those born outside of Canada (28 per cent).

“For those born outside of Canada, length of time in Canada does not appear to have an effect on physical activity rates,” according to the report.

Lu said the survey shows health planners must pay close attention to social and economic barriers that prevent people from adopting healthy habits.

How the health of Richmond residents stacks up

•76% have strong or very strong sense of community belonging

•61% commute be personal vehicle, 29% by public transit

•43% say health is excellent or very good, 19% say health is fair or poor

•33% regularly exercise

•21% eat enough fruits and vegetables

•8% smoke cigarettes

*Source: Healthy Richmond 2012 report

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