According to the survey conducted by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year, about 27 percent of Korean adults practice a healthy lifestyle daily.
Last year’s figure was 1.2 percentage points lower than that recorded in 2015 and 7.2 percentage points lower than 2008, when the survey was first conducted.
The survey showed that slightly more than 38 percent of adults walked for more than 30 minutes at least five times a week last year.
It also showed that smokers and those who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime accounted for 22.5 percent of Korean adults. Those who drink alcohol twice a week -- at least five to seven cans of beers each time -- were at 18.4 percent.
Residents of Cheorwon County, Gangwon Province, were most likely to follow healthy lifestyles -- at least half of its residents were nonsmokers who walk daily and drink less alcohol. This was followed by residents of Yeongdeungpo-gu (51.3 percent), Yangcheon-gu (50.1 percent) and Songpa-gu (48 percent) in Seoul.
In contrast, areas in rural regions mostly ranked at the bottom.
Residents of Jeongseon County in Gangwaon (10.3 percent), Geochang County in South Gyeongsang Province (11.1 percent), Uiseong County in North Gyeongsang Province (11.1 percent) and Goseong County in Gangwon Province showed a low rate of practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Researchers who participated in the survey said that although lifestyle differences exist between urban and rural areas, the gap is gradually narrowing.
“We would like to use this data to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas in maintaining healthy lifestyles, by activating health care services and related business,” said Chung Ki-seok, chief of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, those who regard themselves as fat and do not routinely exercise were on the rise -- from 26.3 percent last year to 27.9 percent this year. Experts say busy lifestyles and a high dependence on instant food are the main culprits behind the increase.
The survey was conducted from August to October 2016 on some 228,452 citizens across the nation, with the help of 254 public health care centers here.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org)