IELTS Essay | Public Health | Sports Facilities

IELTS Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities.

Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

IELTS Essay Answer | Public Health and Sports Facilities

Public health has become a major concern for various groups, governments and related organizations. While some people favor projects such as increasing opportunities for people to exercise through providing public facilities such as sports centers, other people and interested parties believe that there are alternative and more effective measures that could be taken to increase the general health level of the public.

It is one thing to build a sports center; it is quite another thing to get people to use it. At the heart of the argument lies motivation. Based on human behavior, we can see that health is very much a personal choice in many cases. People choose to lead a healthy lifestyle or not. Many people do regular exercise, with or without public facilities being available, simply walking ever day or jogging in the local park. It is simply their personal choice to do these activities. Other people choose to do little or no exercise, even though their village, town or city may have many superb facilities available to them.

Many organizations have suggested that education is the key to improving health, as education seems to be the answer for everything. However, we have already seen this fail in several high profile areas such as drinking, smoking, and fast food. Many research groups and others who support a healthy lifestyle have spent years trying to educate the public through various campaigns, pointing out the negative side effects of these bad habits and showing the way to healthier options. The results have been far less than impressive. In the UK, there are more young people smoking now than in the past, in spite of all the health campaigns warning of the risks. Excessive alcohol consumption is still a social problem, and several governments are now complaining that obesity related health conditions are putting a strain on public health services, which can be traced back to the rise in popularity of fast food and convenience food in popular culture, and lack of regular physical activity.

From this we can see that simply providing facilities or trying to inform people through campaigns and advertising is not the most effective way to change public behavior, if that is the desired result.

As medicine makes use of more and more technology, it seems that there is a cure for almost any problem we have nowadays. However, this can make people apathetic when it comes to their own health, knowing the doctors can always fix a problem. The most successful changes in public behavior have always been brought about by imposing rules and regulations and making individuals responsible for their behavior. Taxes, fines and penalties for motoring offences are some excellent examples.

Many years ago drivers were not required to use their seat belt when driving. However, as a result of the amount of horrific road accidents and deaths which resulted, the government introduced the wearing of seat belts for drivers, and passengers as mandatory; with fixed fines following after a transitional period. When money is involved or there is a risk of breaking the law, it seems people think twice about their behavior. Based on this, an effective approach to poor levels of public health would involve making the individual more responsible for their own health through charging or taxing health conditions which are caused by a person’s own poor health habits or behavior.

How would you answer this IELTS essay question about public health and sports facilities?

  • What is the main concern with public health in your country?
  • What would you suggest to improve public health?
  • Should people be penalized for making unhealthy lifestyle choices?