Health behaviours through life course – new report

This report, commissioned by the Department of Health, is the first of a series of twice yearly surveys which track core health behaviours, their interactions and influences and how these vary across key life stages.

This survey forms a baseline against which changes in behaviour over time and seasonal variations can be assessed.

The survey looks at a number of key health behaviours including nutrition, physical activity, smoking, alcohol, drug use and sexual health. It investigates the patterns of these behaviours across different stages of life including adults, pregnant women and mothers of children under 2, young people aged 11-17 and older people aged 55+.

Key physical activity findings

  • Just over half (53%) of the adults surveyed had not done at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in the previous week.
  • Parents and those aged over 75 were the least likely to have done 150 minutes or more of moderate physical activity in the previous week.
  • Almost all adults said they had done at least one form of physical activity that made them breathe faster than usual in the last week.
  • Nine in ten adults agreed that there were ways that they could be physically active without having to go to the gym or do organised sport.
  • Of the young people surveyed 68% had not been moderately active every day in the last week. This was particularly prominent among females aged 15-17.
  • Activity levels tailed off significantly among the older age groups. Over two thirds (68%) of the over 75s were not doing 150 weekly active minutes.

Download: Lifecourse tracker – Wave 1 Spring 2012: Interim summary report

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