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The Unhealthiest Cities and Towns in the UK

March 10, 2017

The personal decisions you make every day regarding diet, exercise, smoking, and drinking are critical when it comes to living a healthy life, but some cities and towns make living well effortless, which can have a big effect on your overall health. Unfortunately, others do quite the opposite. Our infographic brings you a list of the 31 unhealthiest cities and towns in the UK per 100,000 population.

Let’s start the countdown with the healthiest of the lot. The top cities which are good for one’s wellness seem to be localised in the south of Britain with Bristol, Cardiff, Plymouth, and Swansea all ranking high on the list. Bristol tops the list with 45 sports clubs and shops, 18 gyms, 14 swimming pools and an extraordinary 234 cycling lanes (I imagine cyclists everywhere like in Amsterdam). In Wales, Edinburgh is the healthiest city with 225 bike lanes, 30 public parks and 33 sports clubs and shops. Swansea is also ranked quite high even though the city only has one swimming pool available to the public. It does, however, boast 40 sports clubs and sports shops, 46 public parks and 95 cycling routes. If you’re into your fitness, these are definitely the cities you should look to spend the rest of your life.

The next set of villages and towns are also considered very healthy places. These are Kingston-upon-Hull, Belfast, Bolton, Derby and Leicester. Kingston-upon-Hull earns its place on this end of the spectrum for having just one McDonalds fast food eatery in the area, 34 sports clubs, and shops and 51 public parks. It is closely followed by North Ireland’s capital and largest city, Belfast, with 8 gyms, 12 swimming pools, 52 sports clubs and shops and 78 cycling routes. Derby comes in close as it boasts 14 public parks, 39 sports clubs and shops, 12 swimming pools and 89 bicycle lanes. These also fall into the category of great places to live.

Still on the healthy side but lower on the scale are Sheffield, Manchester, Coventry and Glasgow among others. Sheffield has 142 cycling lanes, 16 public parks, and 22 sports clubs and shops, whereas Manchester has the most swimming pools on the list, 19 in total, 10 gyms, 36 sports clubs and shops, and just 13 cycling routes. Next, in Wales’ Glasgow, one may find an average of 8 gyms, 10 swimming pools, 27 sports clubs and shops, 61 cycling routes and only 3 public parks.

As we enter the unhealthy zone, you’ll find Liverpool, Sunderland, Stoke-on-Trent, and Stockport. The further we move down the chart, the more Mc Donald’s there are in these towns and cities, and the fewer gyms, parks and cycling lanes are present. Stoke-on-Trent holds the record for least public parks, only having 2, along with 51 cycling routes. Stockport has a high number of Mc Donald’s eateries, 9 to be precise, even more than its neighbour Manchester which sits in 18th place on the list and only has 7 restaurants belonging to the franchise.
In 10th place, the unhealthiest city has been found to be Leeds, with Birmingham, Bradford and Wolverhampton trailing behind, with Leeds only having 12 sports clubs and shops, 5 gyms and 42 cycling routes (thankfully it only has 2 Mc D’s). Wolverhampton just misses the top five with 6 gyms, 9 Mc Donald’s restaurants, 6 swimming pools, 3 public parks and 40 cycling routes.

London, Wigan, Wakefield and Walsall are the towns and cities in the red. London, the capital and busiest city in England, takes fifth place with 5 cycling routes, 3 sports clubs, and shops, 2 swimming pools, and 4 gyms (just 4???!!!). Walsall, the industrial town in the West Midlands of England, has the most Mc Donald’s in the whole of Britain with 14 places where you can grab yourself a quadruple big Mac and only 3 gyms available to join where you can burn those Mc Flurries! There are no sporting events organised in any of these places in the top 5 and cycling routes are a rare sight. But which is the unhealthiest city or town of them all? Head to our infographic to find out which city is home to expanding waistlines and overindulgent lazy inhabitants who don’t exercise.

About the author

Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts

Sports Journalist

Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.