The UK's Healthiest Cities: Lockdown Review
The Health & Wellness Status of UK Cities
The coronavirus pandemic is no doubt having a toll on our collective health and wellbeing. Whether it’s higher levels of stress and anxiety, the struggles of working from home or closed gyms limiting our exercise options, right now it’s hard to look after ourselves as we’ve always done.
To gain an understanding of how we’re dealing with the effects of the lockdown, we decided to take a look at some of the biggest lockdown trends in health and wellness to see which cities are coping the best.
By analysing trends in exercise, wellness and healthy eating, we’ve ranked the UK’s 30 most populous cities in each category and overall to determine where we’re feeling the strains of lockdown the most and the least.
Healthiest Cities - Overview
When considering all the elements we studied, these are the 10 healthies cities in the UK right now.
Bristol was top of the board for both exercise and wellness terms, while Liverpool only came out first for healthy eating terms, pushing it down to third place.
Interestingly, neighbouring cities Glasgow and Edinburgh – the only cities from Scotland surveyed – both landed in the top 5.
Exercise - Bristol Takes the Lead
We analysed four terms relating to some of the most dominant trends in lockdown fitness: “yoga”, “hiit/high intensity interval training”, “resistance bands” and “running”. We then determined the number of impressions per 10,000 people in each city to ensure a fair distribution across cities of different sizes.
- Bristol are miles ahead in almost every exercise category we examined. However, Edinburgh takes the crown as yoga capital of Britain.
- While York and London scored low for Resistance Bands, their higher scores elsewhere helped keep them in the top 5.
Self-care Specialists - Bristol Wins Again
The four lockdown wellness terms we analysed were: “meditation”, “mindfulness”, “gardening” and “how to deal with anxiety”. We included the latter as we feel this shows an approach by residents of each city to positively react to negative mental health experiences.
- Bristol took the lead in this category again but Coventry came first for mindfulness.
- Newcastle held first place for dealing with anxiety Wolverhampton for gardening and Belfast for meditation, despite none of them placing in the top 5 overall.
|Ranking||City||Meditation||Mindfulness||Gardening||Dealing with Anxiety|
Healthy Eating Experts - Liverpool Loves a Diet
We focused on four diet-based key trends for our healthy eating analysis: “plant-based diet”, “keto diet”, “low-carb diet” and “paleo diet”. We chose these terms to give an indication of which cities are consciously making changes to their diets during lockdown.
- Liverpool took the lead in 3 out of 4 of our diet-based categories, proving itself as the undisputed healthy eating champion of the UK.
- Though second-place Peterborough also ranked second for Paleo searches, it was Sheffield (which placed 9th in healthy eating) that had the highest level of interest in the Paleo diet.
|Ranking||City||Low-carb Diet||Keto Diet||Paleo Diet||Plant-based Diet|
|Ranking||City||Population||Yoga||HIIT||Resistance Bands||Running||Meditation||Mindfulness||Gardening||How to Deal with Anxiety||Plant-based Diet||Keto Diet||Low-carb Diet||Paleo Diet|
|12||Kingston upon Hull||260,645||20||21||15||21||10||14||18||12||3||5||7||14|
|15||Stoke on Trent||270,726||24||14||19||25||11||20||3||8||19||18||5||25|
We chose common trends in fitness, wellness and healthy eating to track the health of cities in body and soul.
We used Google Keyword Planner forecast data for the month of June 2020 to get an impression of how UK health is being affected by lockdown. Keyword Planner forecasts search interest in different topics relative to interest in previous months and Y-O-Y trends.
Within each category (exercise, wellness, healthy eating), we selected four key lockdown trends and weighted the terms by popularity, for example, resistance bands were the most popular exercise trend while HIIT was the least.
For each category, we calculated the average ranking to determine the best performers individually before averaging the rankings to find the leading cities overall.
We found data on the top 30 most populous British cities based on their latest census figures on Wikipedia.