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Slightly healthier and slightly heavier in Langley

Dr. Victoria Lee, Chief Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health, presented the results of a survey of Metro residents to Township council that appears to show people in Langley live slightly healthier-than-average lives. - Dan Ferguson/Langley Times
Dr. Victoria Lee, Chief Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health, presented the results of a survey of Metro residents to Township council that appears to show people in Langley live slightly healthier-than-average lives.
— image credit: Dan Ferguson/Langley Times

Residents of Langley Township have healthier-than-average habits compared to most Metro Vancouver residents, a new survey by the Fraser Health Authority shows.

By small margins, they are less likely to smoke (eight per cent compared to 11 per cent for all of Metro), more likely to exercise (49 per cent compared to 44 per cent for Metro) and have more friends than their counterparts in other communities (48 per cent of Township respondents report having four or more people they can confide in, compared to 45 per cent for Metro).

Perhaps because of that, the Township residents tended to rate their overall mental and physical health slightly higher, with 50 per cent reporting excellent or very good physical health compared to 49 per cent in Metro, while 63 per cent of Township resident rated their mental health excellent or very good compared to 57 per cent of Metro residents.

However, Langley resident were also heavier than average, with 29 per cent reporting obesity compared to 22 per cent for all of Metro.

And they were far less likely to walk or cycle for errands at seven per cent of respondents compared to 20 per cent for Metro.

They were even less likely to take public transit, with just eight per cent of Township residents using the limited local bus service compared to 28 per cent of Metro residents.

The Langley details from the “My Health, My Community” survey were presented to Township council at the July 9 meeting by Dr. Victoria Lee, Chief Medical Health Officer and VP, Population Health at Fraser Health.

Doctor Lee said about 1,000 Langley resident were surveyed for the study, the largest community health survey conducted in B.C.

In all, there were 33,000 responses to the joint survey by the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health authorities, carried out between June 2013 and July 2014.

“It [the study] is a significant achievement,” Lee said.

“We’re trying to get a neighbourhood-level analysis.”

The survey also shows more Township residents reported having a family doctor — 87 per cent, compared to 83 per cent for Metro — a finding that was questioned by some on council.

Lee said it appears some people who only go to walk-in medical clinics were reporting that as having a family doctor.

Detailed survey results can be found online at www.myhealthmycommunity.org.

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