Are 547 000 000 outdoor trips, up 38%, helping to reduce obesity in Scotland?


Border Terrier attempts to drag Mrs Prof into sea to begin triathlon training

According to Scottish National Heritage (SNH), the number of outdoor trips made by Scots, including English, Polish, Pakistani, Chinese and other Scots, increased from 396 million to 547 million in only four years. Please note that I have used BBC Scotland’s editorial guidelines on adding up smaller percentage increases to produce a nice big one for my headline.

The report also indicated that more than half of those surveyed, reported getting out every week with many visits taking place in urban areas and with increasing experiences of nature closer to home than in the past.

The most common reason given for visiting the great outdoors was to exercise a dog followed by health and exercise. Two-thirds of those who visited the outdoors felt it had improved their physical health as well as helping them to reduce stress.

While tackling obesity has required multiple strategies, the above trend must have played some part in the stabilising then reducing levels currently being denied by our Nomedia. See these two sources:

  1. From Growing Up in Scotland: Overweight and Obesity at Age 10:

‘Historic data from the survey shows that the prevalence of overweight [in Scotland] including obesity remained relatively stable between 1998 and 2016, fluctuating between 28% and 33%. However, in recent years levels of obesity have shown a steady decline dropping from 17% in 2014. This is largely due to a decline in obesity amongst boys which have dropped from 20% in 2012 to 12% in 2017 [40%].’ (14)

2. From the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:

‘Under current trends it is predicted that 11 per cent of the population in Wales will be morbidly obese in 2035, roughly 340,000 adults, while Scotland is likely to plateau at about 5 per cent and England will rise to about 8 per cent.’

The researchers offer a surprisingly clear, confident and simple explanation for the significantly slower growth in Scotland – Scottish Government policy initiatives and resource allocation:

‘The government put a massive push on developing a route map for how we can actually combat this. They put together resources from the NHS that were proving to be effective. They did put a lot of work into it.’



7 thoughts on “Are 547 000 000 outdoor trips, up 38%, helping to reduce obesity in Scotland?

  1. Contrary November 28, 2018 / 10:14 pm

    When I saw the title to this, I thought it was going to be an update to your healthy fitness weight loss progress! I eagerly read on to see how you got the figure of 547 x 10^6 for all your outdoor trips, ah but shame, you are including other people’s trips too. I’m getting out a bit more too, lots of parks to go walking about in without having to make a major expedition on it, and indeed it does make you feel better after.


    • johnrobertson834 November 29, 2018 / 6:12 am

      Good one! Can claim nearly 14×52 trips per annum. Good to hear about your wealth of parks. Keep on truckin’.


      • Contrary November 29, 2018 / 8:15 am

        Cool. For some reason WordPress won’t let me sign up so I can’t tell Grousy I support him in this. My brain is still forming a wider opinion on the whole thing, and it possibly involves the irony of using the one of the fascist techniques of shutting down debate that the article warns against. The whole Yes thing takes a battering generally from state and media, criticisms levelled against individuals speaking out, nit picking on issues that are in actual fact just one skewed interpretation, are spurious at best. Labelling someone as a zealot, for instance, because they have a difference of opinion is not rational. But it is that ‘labelling’ in itself that is the aim, discredit the speaker so what they say is discredited. I’m sure Chomsky has had things to say on this!


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