West Suffolk tops the county for active lives

A newly published report puts West Suffolk top of the county and among the highest of East of England local authorities for 150 minutes or more of exercise a week.

Sport England’s Active Lives surveys measure the activity levels of people across England. The most recent Active Lives Adult survey gives a comprehensive view of how people are getting active, and for how long.

Jo Rayner, Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs at West Suffolk Council, said: “I am thrilled with this outcome. The report shows that 64.9% of adults in West Suffolk are active for 150 minutes or more a week, the highest level in the county and among the highest in the region. West Suffolk Council has made healthy, active families and communities a priority, because that means improved wellbeing, resilience and quality of life. We invest directly in amenities and facilities and we work with a wide network of partners to support opportunities for all ages and abilities to be mentally and physically active, such as our pioneering social prescribing and exercise on referral programmes.

“We know that walking is a big factor in our area, and we provide some of the best parks and open spaces in the country. We have created a Leisure Investment Fund and together with our charitable trust partner Abbeycroft Leisure, we are transforming our five leisure centres. And in a largely rural area, we support the vital role played by volunteers and by village halls and community centres as a meeting point for a huge range of activities.”

Warren Smyth, CEO of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “This is an excellent result for West Suffolk. We recognise the successful increase in more active individuals, and continue to develop partnerships and programmes to start those less active on their own journeys to better mental and physical health. We are the county’s largest health and fitness provider and also a not-for-profit social enterprise, which means we re-invest any financial surplus back into our services, which we develop with our communities. For example, the majority of our schemes now hold the Suffolk Exercise on Referral Standard, an initiative we established with our GP partners to give health professionals and patients alike assurance that they can achieve the outcomes they want.”

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