There were more than one million visits to gyms, swimming pools and sports halls in South Tyneside last year.
According to council figures there were 1,097,324 admissions to its six leisure centres in 2017/18, almost half of which were at Haven Point, in Pier Parade, South Shields.
Total income from across the service was £3.4m.
Speaking at yesterday’s full council meeting at South Shields Town Hall, Coun John McCabe said: “For children going to school on our borough, obesity levels are about 11 per cent.
“It’s our duty to provide good leisure facilities.
“Despite austerity and because we’ve had good leadership, we’ve been built these facilities and hope, as the ancient Greeks and Romans used to say, that a healthy body will mean a healthy mind.”
Councillors praised the age range of full members using the leisure centres.
Out of 6,222 paying subscriptions, about 1,000 are under 24 and more than 1,500 are over 55.
There are also free and discounted entry schemes available for young people and other residents.
The meeting heard an update on the ‘Hello Tomorrow; Change is Happening’ scheme for South Tyneside.
According to a report 2,341 homes have been built and 3,315 new business have started in South Tyneside since 2010.
This is despite having had to save £145m in the last eight years, with another £11m to be slashed from budgets this year.
Deputy leader of the council, Coun Alan Kerr, said: “Since the 2010 election, local government has had to make significant savings year on year.
“But despite cuts, we’ve not changed our vision, we’ve accelerated it.”
The council was also presented with a petition by Coun James Sewell calling for Go North East Buses to re-establish transport links between Lukes Lane Estate and Campbell Park Road.
The document had 454 signatures.
A date for councillors to debate the issue is yet to be set.
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service