High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The 2003 Physical Activity Task Force publication "Let's Make Scotland More Active: A strategy for physical activity" recommended that adults should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week (this can be accumulated in shorter bouts of as little as 10 minutes).
In 2008 the physical activity questions in the survey changed from recording bouts of activity of 15 minutes or more to bouts of 10 minutes or more. This has introduced a discontinuity in the time series but analysis has shown the effect to be small (around 1 percentage point of difference).
In 2010 39% of adults aged 16 and over met the physical activity recommendations. Men were more likely to meet them than women (45% compared with 33%). There was no significant change in the proportions meeting the recommendations between 2008 and 2010.
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Source: Scottish Health survey
Adults - key summary findings from the Scottish Health Survey 2010 for the adult population include the following:
- The proportion of the population that participated in sporting activities in the previous four weeks was 44%. This decreased with age from 68% of those aged 16-24 down to 13% of those aged 75 and over. Common activities for adults include working out at the gym, doing exercises, swimming and running/jogging.
- The proportion of men with high activity levels decreased markedly with age from 66% among men aged 16-24, to 10% among men aged 75 and over.
- The proportion of women with high activity levels increased with age reaching a peak of 45% when aged 35-44, and decreased thereafter to 7% among women aged 75 and over.
Children - key summary findings from the Scottish Health Survey 2010 for children include the following:
- 75% of boys and 70% of girls aged 2-15 participated in physical activity for 60 minutes or more 7 days a week (the level of activity currently recommended for children) including activity at school. The number of girls obtaining this recommended level has increased from 64% in 2008, while the number of boys decreased from 77%.
- Overall activity levels declined with age among girls (but not among boys) after the age of 12. By age 13-15, only 48% of girls did at least 60 minutes' physical activity 7 days a week. In contrast, the percentage of 13-15 year-old boys who did so remained high at 75%.
Note – Data on Children's participation in Physical Activity at school is due to be published in June 2012 as part of the School Nutrition publication.