PEOPLE in Worcestershire are living longer than ever, a new report reveals.

Public Health England says life expectancy for males in the county has now reached 79.7 years, just above the England average of 79.5 years, while female life expectancy is 83.5 years, also above the England average of 83.1.

However, many of the extra years are spent in poor health, the Health Profile for England report reveals.

Healthy life expectancy – the average number of years someone can expect to live in good health – is at 67.7 years for women and 65.6 years for men in Worcestershire, both marginal declines from previous healthy life expectancy figures for the county.

In the wider West Midlands region healthy life expectancy is 63.2 years for women and 62.4 years for men, while across the whole of England the figures are 64.1 years fore women and 63.4 years for men.

The wide-ranging report also looks at factors such as how much exercise people are getting.

In Worcestershire, more than a quarter of people – 26.4 per cent – are doing less than 30 minutes of physical exercise per week.

However this compares favourably to the West Midlands, where the figure is 30.9 per cent, and England, where it is 28.7 per cent.

Te report, based on latest data from 2013-15, also reveals that 13.5 per cent of adults in Worcestershire smoke, compared to 15.4 per cent in the West Midlands and 15.5 per cent in England.

Key national findings from the report include:

• Life expectancy has increased more than years in good health and therefore the number of years lived in poor health has also increased.

• Diabetes makes the top 10 causes of ill-health and disability (morbidity) for the first time.

• The two biggest risk factors behind levels of ill health are excess weight and high blood sugar.

• Lower back and neck pain are the biggest causes of ill health.

• While deaths from heart disease and stroke have halved since 2001, it’s still the biggest killer of men. For women, it’s Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Public Health England says it wants local and national policymakers to use the report as a reference point and to think about the broader impact of their policies on health.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: “Good public health is not defined by health policy alone.

"Our health profiles show a high-quality education, a well-designed and warm home, a good job and a community to belong to are just as important.

“The more we consider the impact of all policies on population health, the sooner we can focus on preventing poor health instead of only dealing with its consequences, especially for those from the most deprived communities.”