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Physical Activity levels

The following figures indicating the levels of physical activity in Scotland are based on the Scottish Health Survey, published 25 September 2012.

The survey indicated that 39% of adults (45% of men, 33% of women) met the physical activity guidlines of 30 minutes of moderate activity on five or more days per week. Since 2008 there has been no significant change in the proportion of adults meeting the recommendations. The Let's Make Scotland More Active National target for 2022 is to have 50% of adults meeting the recommended level.

73% of children (76% of boys, 70% of girls) met the physical activity guidelines including school-based activity - 60 minutes of moderate activity, including school-based activity, every day of the week. Although there was little change in this number for boys between 2008 and 2011, the proportion of girls meeting the guidelines increased from 64% in 2008.

The figure for children drops to 65% (69% of boys, 62% of girls) when school-based activity is excluded. This underlines the case for school based physical education.

The Scottish Household Survey published in August 2012 showed an upward trend with 75% of people participating in sport, including walking. This is an increase of 3% from the previous year. Walking was by far the biggest activity, over 55% of people having taken a half hour walk for recreational purposes.

The report on physical activity for health from the UK’s Chief Medical Officers Start Active, Stay Active includes guidelines on the volume, duration, frequency and type of physical activity required across the lifecourse to achieve general health benefits. It updates existing guidelines for children, young people and adults and includes new guidelines for early years and older people for the first time in the UK.  It is aimed at the NHS, local authorities and a range of other organisations designing services to promote physical activity. The document is intended for professionals, practitioners and policy makers concerned with formulating and implementing policies and programmes that utilise the promotion of physical activity, sport, exercise and active travel to achieve health gains.