69% know to walk, 12% do in White Rock/South Surrey

Fraser Health survey indicates fewer smokers on Semiahmoo Peninsula.

A survey suggests not enough Peninsula residents walk.

Semiahmoo Peninsula residents are less likely to smoke than others in Metro Vancouver, according to a recent survey, but need some improvement when it comes to commuting.

Results of the community health profile were presented to White Rock city council this week by representatives of Fraser Health, who commissioned the survey in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health.

The My Health My Community study – which had more than 33,000 respondents in Metro Vancouver and 715 in White Rock/South Surrey – found that only six per cent of Peninsula residents are “daily or occasional smokers”, compared to 11 per cent in the rest of Metro Vancouver.

Locals are about on par with the rest of the region when it comes to other health behaviours, the study found; 30 per cent are eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day (25 per cent in the region), 48 per cent are getting 150 minutes or more of physical activity per week (44 per cent) and 50 per cent are getting two or more hours of daily screen time (48 per cent).

Where White Rock/South Surrey residents could use some work, according to Fraser Health’s environmental officer, Randy Heilbron, is the method by which they commute to and from work or school.

Only 12 per cent of Peninsula residents take transit, and seven per cent walk, compared to 28 and 14 per cent, respectively, around Metro Vancouver.

The study found that although 69 per cent of local residents agree that there are amenities within walking or cycling distance, only 12 per cent actually walk or cycle when running errands.

“This means you’ve done a good job of making your community walkable,” Heilbron told council Monday. “But there’s a bit of a disconnect between the 69 per cent who know they can walk and the 12 per cent that are actually walking.”

Other findings from the survey – conducted between June 2013 and July 2014 – include 62 per cent of White Rock/South Surrey residents feel a strong sense of community belonging (56 per cent in the region), 92 per cent have a family doctor (83 per cent) and 68 per cent rate their mental health as excellent or very good (57 per cent).

For full survey results, visit www.myhealthmycommunity.org

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