We’re a fairly healthy bunch in Richmond — but we could and should be doing a lot better.
That’s the view of the city’s medical health officer, Dr. James Lu, following results of the Healthy Richmond Wellness Survey being published.
The survey, which will help Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) planners develop programs to increase the overall well-being of Richmond residents, found that local residents need to be more active.
And it discovered that all men in Richmond need to eat more fruits and vegetables.
“Overall, and by national standards, the health of Richmond residents is very good,” said Lu.
“But our survey delved deeper than most, and what it revealed is that we — as health planners — need to pay special attention to the social and economic barriers across the community that prevent adults, youth and children from building healthy habits.”
More than 3,600 Richmond residents were surveyed in February and March of last year about their general health and well-being, including whether they smoked, their levels of physical activity, their eating habits and their connection to the community.
Some of the findings include:
*Only 33 per cent of Richmond residents meet the recommended weekly physical activity target of 150 minutes. Broadmoor residents clock in as the city’s most active, with 38 per cent meeting the weekly target for physical activity;
*21 per cent of Richmond residents report eating the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Among neighbourhoods, Steveston residents, at 29 per cent, eat the most fruits and vegetables;
*Overall just 8 per cent of residents report that they are currently smokers, a rate that is half the provincial average and 60 per cent lower than the national average;
*76 per cent of Richmond residents report a strong or very strong sense of community belonging. Residents on Sea Island and Steveston report having the highest sense of belonging.
“This is the first Vancouver Coastal Health survey to measure the connection between belonging and wellness,” said Dr. Jat Sandhu, regional director at the Public Health Surveillance Unit.
“Measuring this connection is important because we know that increased sense of connectedness leads to increased health in that community.”
VCH staff and the City of Richmond have been analyzing the survey results and will use the findings as a baseline measure for the evaluation and advancement of the Richmond Community Wellness Strategy.