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National Indicator: Physical Activity

 Increase physical activity

Indicator Measure
The proportion of adults meeting physical activity recommendations

Current Status
The proportion of adults meeting the latest physical activity recommendations in 2016 was 64%, a one percentage point increase from 2015, and similar to previous years (62% in 2012, 64% in 2013).  Between 2008 and 2012, there was little change in the proportion meeting the old physical activity recommendations. 

NI 18 - Graph

Source: Scottish Health Survey
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 3 October 2017
Next Update: September 2018

Increase physical activity

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

Increasing the proportion of the population meeting physical activity levels is a key legacy aspiration for the Commonwealth Games. There is also a strong health benefit as increases equate to addressing the impact on sedentary lifestyles which can lead to reductions in health issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and blood pressure.

There is also emerging evidence that physical activity delivers better outcomes for mild depression than prescribed medication.

What will influence this National Indicator?

The levels of inactivity within developed countries is increasing and we are therefore seeking to buck an International trend. However, the investment in facilities and the excitement of two large scale sporting events coming to Scotland in 2014 (Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup) will be used as a catalyst to excite and energise our efforts towards increasing physical activity.

What is the Government's role?

Our two National strategies will continue to inform thinking and delivery are Let's Make Scotland More Active (2003) and Reaching Higher and are designed to set the strategic context. This is complimented by the Games Legacy plan and guides investment decision we take (including support through NHS Health Boards, grant funding of sportscotland and any subsequent investment such as Cashback etc.)

How is Scotland performing?

Based on the current physical activity guidelines, the proportion of adults meeting the recommended level in 2016 was 64%, a one percentage point increase from 2015.

Revised guidelines on physical activity were introduced by the Chief Medical Officers of each of the four UK countries in July 2011.  The previous recommended level of activity for adults was that they should do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week (i.e. at least 5).  The new guidelines are that adults should be moderately active for a minimum of 150 minutes a week

The impact of this change was an increase of around 24 percentage points in the proportion of adults meeting the recommendation.  It is not possible to calculate adherence to the new guideline back over the time series, but figures using the old guideline were produced for 2012 and show relatively little change over time (39% in 2011, 38% in 2012.)

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

A significantly higher proportion of men than women meet the physical activity recommendations.  Physical activity is highly associated with age and area based deprivation, with activity levels declining as age and deprivation increase.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 2 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Governing Bodies of Sport

Local Authorities

NHS Health Boards

NHS Health Scotland

Sportscotland

Related Strategic Objectives

Healthier

View National Indicator Data

Downloadable document:

Title:Increase physical activity
Description:Increase physical activity
File:Increase physical activity [XLS, 536.6 kb: 29 Sep 2017]
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