National Survey for Wales

I received this charmingly interactive set of results from the National Survey for Wales…

The results revealed by rotating the disc give food for thought:

  • 19/100 speak Welsh. Typyn bach.
  • [Only] 53/100 do regular exercise. This is perhaps the most striking one. I do exercise most days, from cycling for work, to the shops, or just to get some fresh air. I run too, and continually try to make this a regular occurrence as possible. Yoga too. I’m sure if more people got regular exercise then more people would have better health and perhaps be happy with life also when otherwise they might not be.
  • 23/100 get their 5 a day. I used to be well in with this one, with 5 fruit and veg being a bare minimum, but lately I have let this slip in favour of focussing on calories on a HFLC diet; 5-a-day seems less important to me now.
  • 7/10 are in good health. Are you?
  • 33/100 use libraries. Do you? I used to more so, and while I always have a book or three on the go, I usually buy them second-hand, from the likes of Amazon or charity shops, or find ones for free online for my eReader.
  • 85/100 use the internet. I see you do too!
  • 82/100 are happy with life. Are you?
  • 28/100 volunteer. I don’t.

The disc of results was accompanied by a letter inviting me to volunteer to have someone visit me and ask me questions as part of the next survey. I’m not sure I’m all that representative of Wales.

[EDIT soon after receiving this I received another letter informing me someone would be visiting me to conduct the survey and that I would be rewarded with a £10 shopping voucher for obliging, and indeed, within a few days of that I was sitting with Mr National Survey Guy in my lounge and answering 101 probing questions – far more than were covered by the list above – eagerly awaiting that £10 voucher; that will apparently arrive in the post within a few weeks – I hope my cat hasn’t run out of food by then.

I always find it interesting to participate in questionnaires with questions that require me to really probe inwardly for the answers. Some of the questions I found to either be irrelevant or nay-on impossible to answer accurately.

There was a question about using public transport, which I don’t use, followed by what I thought about the quality of public transport. Or what sports I do; jogging? yes, road running? wait, doesn’t that come under jogging – I jog on roads? Tai chi was on the list but not yoga, so I said I do tai chi, then I was asked how often I do tai chi… I’d dug myself into a hole with that. Indeed the questionnaire didn’t seem to cater for someone who cycles everywhere; the only answer of “cycling” related to it being a sport, not a mode of transport, and then I was asked how much I enjoy it, and what would make it more enjoyable [as a sport], sure, how much do you enjoy driving, and, “maybe get rid of all the crazy motorists” I’m not sure Mr National Survey Guy really recognised my sarcasm and general humour throughout.

Do I do creative writing? Umm, I suppose, since you don’t include blog writing on this here list… and then the whole load of happiness questions and ones about anxiety; ask me tomorrow or next week and I could give you an entirely different answer, but he wanted one there and then, my answer from my mindset on this day skewing my perspective I’m certain. Am I the only person who recognises thinks about their own variability in mood? I’m pretty certain I’m not, but whoever devised these questions clearly weren’t one of them.

At the end I was handed a leaflet of thanks which included a list of relevant online resources, these included:


  1. Som’buddy must be a’lyin. 70% think they’re in good health while only 23% eat right and 53% exercise?

    Maybe the Welsh have better mental health which supersedes their obvious lack of perspective about their physical health.

    I ended up in a tavern in Avebury Henge back in 2012 and began to have a conversation with an older fellow who spoke something more akin to mouth-marbles than English. I was told he was speaking to me in Welsh. About football. He was quite drunk to boot. They did have great brew there in the Lion. I featured Avebury in my 2nd novel.

    • I do think it’s easy to delude oneself. Of those people that don’t eat right nor exercise who think they are in good health should indeed improve the latter things and then reflect back on how they good they thought their health really was… Maybe they say they’re in good health rather than actually do what is required to improve it. Or maybe I have it all wrong, pursuing a healthy diet and partaking in exercise.

      It is easier to speak Welsh once drunk.

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