New UK health map reveals London is slimmest; North East has best diet; Wales smokes the most

Author: PruHealth

Date: JAN 2014

London has the healthiest workers while Wales fares the worst, reveals a new UK health map based on a combination of lifestyle choices and clinical outcomes of nearly 10,000 employees across the country. The map has been produced as part of the Britain’s Healthiest Company* report, run by PruHealth with Vitality and Mercer. It shows stark variations in the health and lifestyles of Brits and exposes the healthiest and unhealthiest regions in the UK, highlighting where we live and work really does have an impact on our health.

Health map of UK

The study analysed lifestyle, behavioural and clinical risk factors including weight, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, stress, cholesterol and blood glucose levels, blood pressure as well as how often people attend health screenings to monitor and understand their health.

Top healthiest regions in the UK

1. London
2. Northern Ireland
3. {North East
{South East
4. South West
5. {North West
{East Anglia

Overall 86% of British workers have an average Vitality (health) Age** of 4.1 years older than their real age due to unhealthy lifestyles. In comparison, workers in London have a health age of 3.2 years older than their actual age, while those in Wales are 5.5 years older due to their lifestyle choices. (Find out your Vitality Age at

Londoners are the slimmest (65% in the healthy range) and do the most exercise (45%), while the North East came up top eating most healthily (74%), smoking the least (26%) and are most conscious about their health, attending on average 1.44 health screenings every year. At the other end of the scale, nearly three quarters (74%) of workers in Wales are not exercising enough and over half (55%) smoke. The West Midlands also fell short with only 42% in the healthy weight range and just 57% eating a healthy, balanced diet.

According to Dr Katie Tryon, Head of Clinical Vitality at PruHealth: “This map paints a fascinating picture of the health of the nation. It shows how people’s lifestyles are impacting their overall health and ultimately reducing their life expectancy. There is a clear picture of how each region is performing and where the hotspots are.

"Most of us start the New Year with good intentions. By making lifestyle adjustments now we can all improve our quality of life and not only live longer, but live healthier lives. Things like getting off the bus a couple of stops early or taking the stairs instead of the lift are free and can make all the difference."

Overall Health
Obesity Rates
Eating habits
North East
West Midlands
Smoking habits
North East
No of risk fators/bad habits
Northern Ireland
No of health screens
North East

Barriers to health

The study found a direct correlation between income and health with lifestyle risk factors more prevalent among lower income earners. On average nationally, those on the highest salaries have a health age of almost two years younger than those on the lowest.

The health map launches Britain’s Healthiest Company 2014, which aims to find and celebrate the country’s most outstanding organisations demonstrating best practice and innovative approaches to looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff. As part of Britain’s Healthiest Company, research, analysis and production of tailored Health reports for each participant will be undertaken by the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, which collaborate on health research through the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research. For further details on how to enter please visit:

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Last revised: 17 January 2016

Next review: 17 January 2019