Cheshire East has been ranked in the top 20 local council areas in England for overall health in a new index compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS’ Health Index for England ranked local authority areas on three criteria: health people, healthy lives and health places. Score were influenced by a range of factors such as prevalence of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer as well as societal factors including access to employment opportunities, education, and housing.
Cheshire East’s overall health and wellbeing index score of 103.3 is 3.6 above the national index average and 5.9 above the average for authorities throughout the North West. The borough was particularly boosted by high levels and physical activity and healthy eating. Low air pollution, and significant green spaces also contributed to high levels of resident wellbeing.
Cllr Jill Rhodes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for public health and corporate services, said:
The national health index results confirm that Cheshire East is one of the healthiest boroughs in the country to live in.
“We have many health and wellbeing initiatives on the Live Well section of the Cheshire East Council and Everybody Sport and Recreation (Esar) websites. Esar, a health and wellbeing charity funded by Cheshire East Council that improves people’s lives through physical activity and healthy recreation, has 16 leisure facilities across the borough.”
“Esar’s ‘everybody at home’ scheme has been offering free online live and on-demand classes throughout lockdown, as facilities have remained closed. The classes are a great way to stay active and healthy.
“This is ahead of gym facilities reopening from 12 April and the return of group classes, which have an estimated restart date of 17 May. We also have a clear focus on active travel initiatives for cycling and walking throughout the borough.”
“While the health and overall wellbeing of residents in Cheshire East is very good, we do recognise that there are areas where this is not the case. We continue to target our resources in those areas to try and make a positive difference to the people living there.”
Dr Matt Tyrer, Cheshire East’s director of public health, said:
The ONS report clearly emphasises the importance of general health to support individuals and the borough when recovering from Covid-19.
“The relatively good level of health across the borough and low obesity levels mean we are in a good position. We now need to make the most of this as we seek to recover from the effects of Covid-19.
“However, there is still work that needs to be done in some areas and we are committed to supporting initiatives that improve the health and wellbeing of all our residents.”