Data reveasl that one person’s healthy running habits can influence their friends’ running habits. (Dreamstime)

By the numbers: Kelowna community health profile

B.C. government and Interior Health provide health data on various demographics

A new report details how Kelowna’s community health stacks up against the rest of the province.

The B.C. Community Health Profile breaks down the contributing factors of how a community is impacted by factors like age, diversity, income, housing, education and more.

“Evidence shows that, long before illness, health starts in our homes, schools and jobs. Our health is affected by access to clean water and healthy food, affordable recreational activities, education and employment opportunities,” says the profile introduction.

READ MORE: Kelowna seniors hopefully cautious after federal funding highlighted in Kelowna

Age and diversity are good starting characteristics of a community that can lead to how a community can better plan out what is needed in a city. Knowing the age population, and the expected changes can better prepare governments and local groups to meet the needs. Meanwhile, understanding the unique needs of the various cultural groups in the community can improve overall health.

The community health data will give an idea of what a community may need in the coming years; a new seniors home, more non-official language teachers to help with new immigrants or a new elementary school is something a potential government can consider after examining the evidence, which can then lead to improved or sustained community health.

READ MORE: Kelowna moves to 6th most expensive rental market in Canada

READ MORE: B.C. premier says affordable housing crunch hurts growth, families, province

Another major factor in community health is income.

“Income greatly impacts health by affecting our living conditions (e.g., adequate housing and transportation options), access to healthy choices (e.g., healthy food options and recreational activities), and stress levels,” says the profile.

The ranges of incomes in a city will impact which kind of programs, services, personnel or funding can improve the entire health of a community.

The profile said that income can be influenced by other social factors in a community such as education, employment, health and social services, transportation and housing.

Spending over 30 per cent of a household’s income on housing is considered unaffordable, says the profile. In 2016, almost 47 per cent of renter households in Kelowna were spending more than 30 per cent.

According to the 2018 Canadian Rental Housing Index, Kelowna residents spend 69 per cent of their income on rent and utilities, while the B.C. average is 80 per cent.

READ MORE: Almost half of B.C. renters spend more than 30% of income on housing

More details on the Kelowna community health profile can be found at communityhealth.phsa.ca/HealthProfiles.

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