Birmingham's Favourite Places to 'Take a Breath' Revealed in 2022 Survey
13th July 2022
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Winterbourne House & Gardens voted the most popular place in Birmingham for local people to ‘take a breath’ and connect with their lungs in latest lung health campaign.


The survey, commissioned by the Taskforce for Lung Health, invited local residents to name their favourite city location where they can enjoy their own breathing space as part of an awareness campaign around lung health.


The ‘Take a Breath’ campaign first launched in Birmingham in July 2021 and following its success, the Taskforce is undertaking more local activity in the city to help build the public’s understanding of lung disease and the importance of good lung health.


Winterbourne House & Gardens, a unique heritage site and botanic garden on the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus, was the most popular choice with 28% of the vote. This was followed by city locations Cannon Hill Park (17%), Birmingham Botanical Gardens (15%), canal-side at Mailbox (6%), and Birmingham Library, a new entry for 2022.


The top five nominated locations have been awarded a celebratory plaque to mark their position as one of the city’s top breathing spaces. In July, the Taskforce will also launch a new downloadable city map highlighting walking routes between the top spots so Birmingham residents can explore their city in a brand-new way this summer.


The Taskforce for Lung Health is encouraging people in the city to look after their lungs, as well as increase their understanding of the challenges faced by the 1 in 5 people in the UK who live with lung disease. People take on average 25,000 breaths a day, yet good lung health is something that can often be taken for granted.


It is estimated that over 171,000 people in Birmingham & Solihull and Black Country & West Birmingham are living with asthma, and almost 51,000 people are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - a group of lung conditions that causes breathing difficulties.


Sarah Woolnough, Interim-Chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health, a collaboration of over 40 different charities and organisations aiming to improve the nation’s lung health, said:


“We’re calling on Birmingham residents to take a moment to think about their own lung health. Breathing easily is very often something that can be taken for granted until taking a breath becomes hard to do.


“With 44% of respondents saying they are more aware of their lung health when they do pause to ‘take a breath’ in the city, we hope that people across Birmingham will feel inspired to visit the chosen breathing spaces, pause and show their solidarity with the tens of thousands of people in the city who are living with a lung condition.”


A fifth (22%) of respondents reported being diagnosed with a lung condition such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), yet over half (56%) said they do not discuss their lung health with friends, family, or colleagues.


Despite 80% of respondents saying they are more aware of the importance of lung health since the Covid-19 pandemic, the results suggest there is still a wider lack of awareness around respiratory health. Only one fifth (21%) of respondents correctly stated that 1 in 5 people in the UK will be diagnosed with lung disease in their lifetime. And only 8% of respondents were aware that 700,000 hospital admissions in the UK are linked to lung disease each year.


Sarah Woolnough continued:


“Our results showed that lung health is not a topic that is widely discussed which is worrying when we consider the prevalence of lung conditions across the UK, and particularly in large cities such as Birmingham. Background levels of air pollution in Birmingham City Council are amongst the worst fifth of local authorities in England[1], which means that those living in the city are more likely to have poor lung health.


“Our mission is to help improve the nation’s lung health and highlight the action needed to ensure good lung health for all. More needs to be done to encourage conversations around lung disease so that the public are better able to take steps to look after their lung health, to seek help when experiencing any symptoms, and understand the challenges faced by those living with a lung condition.”


To find out more about the Taskforce for Lung Health’s ‘Take a Breath’ campaign visit or follow the hashtag #BreatheInBrum on Twitter and Facebook.

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