British Columbians believe they lead the healthiest lives of all Canadians, according to health data released Tuesday from Statistics Canada.
Three out of every five adults in this province perceive their own health as very good or excellent, continuing a steady, decade-long climb.
B.C. and Alberta topped the scales in perceived health with 62.7 per cent of men and women raking their lifestyles positively. Adults living in Newfoundland and Labrador followed with 62.2 per cent and Quebec and Ontario adults came next.
Adults living in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut bottomed out at 46.9 and 42.7 per cent, respectively.
Canadians weighed in on a number of health indicators, including body composition, diet, exercise and lifestyle.
The results, which are self-reported, indicate B.C. adults have the country's lowest rates of obesity. Less than half- 46.6 per cent of all B.C. adults or 37.5 per cent of women and 55.7 per cent of men-say they are obese or overweight. The national standard for 2011 is 50.4 per cent. Between 2003 and 2011, obesity rates among men rose from 16 to 19.8 per cent and among women from 14.5 to 16.8 per cent.
Teens and adults say they get more exercise than most Canadians and 60.3 per cent are moderately active, meaning they walk at least 30 minutes each day or exercise for an hour three times a week. B.C. trails the Yukon slightly and the national average is 54.8 per cent. Across Canada, the most popular leisure activity is walking: 70 per cent of StatsCan respondents said they walked regularly in the three months prior to the survey. Gardening, home exercise, jogging or running, swimming and bicycling were also popular activities.
Smoking rates in B.C. are also the lowest in the country with 11.2 per cent of adults smoking daily compared to 15.1 per cent of all Canadians.
In a news release, provincial Minister of Health Michael de Jong said British Columbians should be proud but not complacent.
"Once again, British Columbians have shown that they are among the healthiest in the country, something each of us can be proud of. However, prevention is the best medicine, and if we want to continue to reduce the burden of chronic disease and illness on our health system and our lives, we are going to need to keep striving for improvement," he said.