The healthiest and unhealthiest places to live in west Dorset have been revealed.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have carried out an analysis of lifestyle and environmental factors and produced a data resource tool which contains a range of measures to identify areas that are healthy and those that are unhealthy.

The type of information which the data tool analysed included levels of air pollution, access to various amenities, such as fast food outlets or pubs, and proximity to health services, including GPs, parks and recreational spaces.

One of the healthiest places to live is Lyme Regis, which was found to have good air quality. Bridport town centre performed well, but surrounding parishes such as Walditch and Bradpole did not. This may have been due to low scores when assessing access to health services. Chideock was also deemed an unhealthy place to live.

West Dorset overall excelled in air quality but performed poorly in access to leisure and health services.

Nationally, the study found that London is home to six of the top 10 unhealthiest places to live They were found to have the greatest access to unhealthy opportunities, such as takeaways, pubs and off licences, combined with high levels of air pollution and low levels of parks and green spaces.

By contrast, the healthiest place to live was Great Torrington in North Devon. The small market town has low levels of pollution, good access to parks and green space, few retail outlets that may encourage poor health-related behaviours, and good access to health services.

Eight of the top 10 healthiest places to live were located in Scotland. These included Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire, Fauldhouse in West Lothian, Foxbar in Renfrewshire and Marnoch in North Lanarkshire.

Liverpool senior lecturer in health geography, Dr Mark Green, who undertook the study, said: “Our research, in conjunction with the Consumer Data Research Centre and Public Health England, has allowed us to pull together freely-available information from sources such as GP surgeries, health centres, fast food outlets and air pollution statistics published by the Environment Agency. Our updated data release makes it now the most comprehensive free source of data on healthy environments available.

“The statistics reveal important insights about the concentration of certain amenities that may be damaging or promote health. For example, on average, individuals in Great Britain are just as close to a pub or bar, as they are to their nearest GP.

“We also found that 42 per cent of people are within 1km (or a few minutes’ drive time) of their nearest gambling outlet. These statistics reveal troubling issues with the neighbourhoods we live in and how they may be damaging to our health.”

Professor Alex Singleton, deputy director of the Consumer Data Research Centre, said: “Our study found that access was not evenly spread across Great Britain – rural areas have poorer access to many health services, and those services which are seen as damaging to health are often concentrated in poorer areas.

"For example, 62 per cent of people who live in the 10 per cent most deprived areas are within 1 km of a fast food outlet compared to 24 per cent in the 10 per cent least deprived areas.”

You can explore the data tool yourself here.