We’re healthier than average Joes
SOUTH Gippslanders are healthier than the average Victorian, according to new data from VicHealth.
The latest VicHealth data shows South Gippsland has an overall health and wellbeing score of 80.2 out of 100 compared with the Victorian average of 77.3.
The VicHealth Indicators Survey is a major population survey conducted every four years to measure a range of factors that impact on individual and community wellbeing.
South Gippsland’s VicHealth Indicators Survey 2015 data provides an important snapshot of the health and wellbeing of the local community.
The survey found that in South Gippsland:
- most (98.2 percent) South Gippsland residents agreed they felt safe walking alone during the day, more than the Victorian average of 5 percent;
- three in four (75.4 percent) South Gippsland residents agreed they felt safe walking alone in their local area after dark (Victorian average 55.1 percent);
- 2 percent of residents felt they lived in a close-knit neighbourhood (Victorian average 61 percent);
- South Gippsland residents ate an average of 2.4 serves of vegetables per day, which is similar to the Victorian average of 2.2 but less than the recommended five serves per day, and 1.8 serves of fruit a day;
- 9 percent of South Gippslanders did no exercise during the week (Victorian average 18.9 percent) and 49.1 percent exercised on four or more days (Victorian average 41.3 percent). Walking, cycling and jogging or running were the most popular; and
- 9 percent of South Gippsland residents were identified as being at risk of short term harm from alcohol in a given month, similar to the Victorian estimate of 29.4 percent.
In Bass Coast Shire, the survey found residents had a wellbeing score of 79.6 and were satisfied with life, with a score of 7.9 out of 10. The survey also found:
- 9 percent of residents felt safe walking alone during the day and 63.7 percent felt safe walking alone in their area after dark;
- 3 percent of people believed people in their neighbourhood were willing to help one another out and 80.1 percent felt people could be trusted;
- 19 percent of people did no physical activity but 50.5 percent engaged in activity on four or more days a week. Walking, cycling and swimming were the most popular non-organised activities;
- Bass Coast residents ate 2.2 serves of vegetables each day and 1.5 serves of fruit; and
- 2 percent of residents were at risk of short term harm from alcohol consumption in a given month.
Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said the data helped the Victorian Government improve the health of Victorians.
“This information will give us, and local councils, the information we need to see where things are improving, and where we need to work harder,” she said.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the data would help councils plan for the future.
“Small changes over time can make a big difference. Setting simple goals, like eating one extra piece of fruit or vegetable per day or going for an additional walk each week can make major differences to our health and wellbeing in the long term,” she said.
“It’s important to provide people with evidence-based information about how to stay well, so Victorians can make informed choices to help them live healthier, happier lives.”
People can visit www.healthsnapshot.com.au to see how their health and wellbeing measures up against the average ratings for the rest of the state and their local community.
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