PEOPLE in Eastleigh and Winchester are among the unhappiest in the UK, official data has shown.

A survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Winchester had the lowest happiness score in Hampshire, and second lowest in the UK.

Eastleigh also ranked as the third unhappiest place nationwide in the survey that quizzed 150,000 people.

According to ONS, the 2019/2020 scores registered the largest annual increase in anxiety since it began measuring personal well-being in 2011.

COVID-19 and Brexit are said to be contributing factors to peoples' overall unhappiness.

Another study, conducted by Harvard Health, found that there is a 26% reduction in the risk of major depression among people who run for 15 minutes a day.

Following this, a new challenge is being launched in Hampshire, to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of residents.

The challenge 'Happy Heroes' revolves around Mayathon, free app that helps people buddy-up virtually with friends and family to encourage each other to exercise.

Users are tasked with completing 26 minutes of exercise for 26 days straight.

Robert Tansey, CEO and Founder of Mayathon, said: “We’re on a mission to increase the well-being and happiness of people in Winchester, Eastleigh and across Hampshire."

Local ambassadors consisting of former athletes, sports clubs and personal trainers have been enlisted to buddy-up virtually with their community.

Ambassador for Mayathon and former athlete, Roger Black, said: “Motivation and encouragement are so important for any sporting or personal achievement.

“We tell ourselves that we’re too busy, too tired, or too distracted to exercise, but often the reason is simply that we haven’t got into the habit or we don’t have the support of friends or family.

"I really hope people across Hampshire can buddy-up and use Mayathon to help them to be healthier and happier.”

The app is available to download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store with the challenge starting on October 1, and running to October 26.