Hawke's Bay adults are the least active of any region in the country, according to a new Ministry of Health study.

The ministry's 2017 Health and Independence Report shows that despite Hawke's Bay famed lifestyle only 38 per cent of adults, aged 15 and over, are doing the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise a week.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said Hastings District Council was serious about improving Hawke's Bay exercise statistics.

"We have already made a significant investment and will continue create opportunities for people to get active," Hazlehurst said.


She said initiatives specifically designed at getting adults active included fitness equipment in parks and upgrading walking tracks.

Hazlehurst said she enjoyed utilising the walking and cycle tracks which were in the region, describing Hastings parks and reserves as second to none.

"The best kind of exercise for me is getting out on my bike on our cycle trails," Hazlehurst said.

"I like to walk regularly whether it be in the wonderful Tainui Reserve or up Te Mata Peak."

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton says the council does a lot to encourage the community to be active.

"Napier City Council does quite a lot to facilitate movement in the community," Dalton said.

"The fastest-growing area of active recreation is in bootcamp-style group workouts which we offer at the Napier Aquatic Centre, and are hugely popular."

The council also promotes the iWay and Rotary pathways for walking and cycling.


He said they are working with the Hastings District Council and Sports Hawke's Bay on the development of a sports and active recreation strategy, which focuses on young people.

Sport Hawke's Bay's CEO Mark Aspden said they are disappointed with the results of the study, saying other surveys show different results.

"The Active New Zealand report released recently by Sport New Zealand places the region in a significantly higher position," Aspden said.

"The report says Hawke's Bay adults average 5.3 hours a week and children 11.3 hours a week of physical activity – results that place Hawke's Bay firmly in a mid-table position."

He said regardless of the specific numbers there was a nationwide problem with inactivity.

Aspden said Sport Hawke's Bay's strategy aims to inspire the community to be more active, more often.

"Hawke's Bay has some fantastic sport facilities and recreational spaces, along with better-than-average weather – so we need to look at how the region promotes these for regular use," said Aspden.

Hawke's Bay's former Commonwealth Games runner Richard Potts said exercising was about starting small and setting goals.

"It's all about just going out and walking a block," Potts said.

"Those little goals can lead to big ones down the track."

Potts competed in the 1990 and 1994 Commonwealth Games, in the 5000m and 1500m respectively.

According to the study, the West Coast was the most active region with 65 per cent of adults doing at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week.

Nationally, about 50 per cent of adults exercise regularly.