We're taking a snapshot of local communities and wellbeing

  • Date

    Mon 11 Nov 19

elderly women exercising

Essex residents are being invited to take part in a short survey to help build a picture of local communities and the county’s wellbeing.

Currently, 27% of Essex residents are inactive and carry out less than 30 minutes of physical exercise each week – and the figure is even higher amongst people on low incomes.

This ground-breaking initiative, funded by Sport England, wants to tackle the inequalities that prevent more than 390,000 in Essex from enjoying the physical, social and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle.

Researchers from the University of Essex are now looking for people to take part in a short survey so they can get a real sense of the county’s health and wellbeing. They also want residents’ perceptions of their communities and local area.

Working with Active Essex, the primary focus of the University’s wellbeing evaluation will be on three test areas – Basildon, Colchester and Tendring. Whilst all residents are invited to take part in the survey, the spotlight will be on families with dependent children, the over 45s and people with mental health issues.

The results of the survey will feed into plans to create a whole system change to get Essex more active and using physical activity to tackle the worst social and health inequalities in the county.

Dr Paul Freeman, from the University’s School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, said: “Our evaluation will provide a snapshot of the health of Essex – in terms of how physically active people are and their wellbeing – but also their perceptions of their local area.”

Co-researcher Dr Valerie Gladwell added: “We want to help build healthier and stronger communities and hope our findings will empower communities to engage more people in physical activity and improve the health of the community as a whole.”

They are hoping at least 1,500 people will take part in the online survey, which will be open until 26 November. As well as the survey being available online there will be opportunities to fill in the survey face-to-face at events in the targeted communities.

Jason Fergus, Director of Active Essex and Head of the Essex Local Delivery Pilot, said: “We hope this research will provide further insight into the behaviours and specific needs of local residents so that we can influence change and continue to increase participation in sport and physical activity across our county.”