17 July 2013

Initial results from the Health Survey for England 2012

Initial results from the Health Survey for England 2012

Initial results from the latest Health Survey for England (HSE) have been published. These results are the first set of physical activity statistics for adults in England since 2008.

This is the first time in England that physical activity levels have been measured against the 2011 Chief Medical Officers’ UK physical activity guidelines. Due to differences in measuring physical activity levels, comparisons between previous results and the latest results are difficult but best estimates suggest there has been only a small increase in adults meeting the guidelines.

Initial results show:

  • in 2012, 61% of adults (66% of men and 56% of women) met the current guidelines for moderate/vigorous physical activity
  • the proportion of HSE 2008 participants aged 19 and over who would have met the 2011 guidelines is 65% of men and 53% of women.

Compliance is higher for the 2011 guideline, reflecting its more flexible definition. The current guidelines introduce greater flexibility in the ways that an individual can accumulate physical activity across the week, recognise activity that would have been discounted under the previous guidelines and reflect the extra value of vigorous intensity activity.

The full HSE 2012 report will include chapters reporting on physical activity by both adults and children. This will include summary activity by:

  • socio-economic position
  • participation in different types of activity
  • time spent being sedentary
  • occupational activity and participation in muscle-strengthening activity by adults
  • activities to improve balance and co-ordination by older adults
  • active travel to school by children.

Download: Health Survey for England 2012 – Initial results