Obesity indicators 2015

Latest data for indicators selected to monitor progress for our Prevention of Obesity Route Map (2010). Most indicators are updated up to 2014, but for some indicators data are more or less up-to-date than this.

This document is part of a collection

Adult sedentary activity

Indicator Source: Scottish Health Survey

Latest Results

  • In 2014, adults reported sitting in their leisure time for a mean of 5.2 hours on weekdays and 5.9 hours on weekend days.Reported sedentary leisure time was slightly higher for men than for women (5.3 and 5.1 weekday mean hours, respectively, and 6.1 and 5.7 weekend day mean hours).
  • Sedentary activity levels varied by age, with those aged 25 to 54 tending to spend the least time sitting both on weekdays and weekend days (mean hours ranging from 4.1 to 4.7 on weekdays and 5.2 to 5.6 hours on weekend days). Older people (aged 65 and over) were the most sedentary on both weekdays (6.6 to 7.3 hours) and weekend days (6.7 to 7.2 hours).
  • The proportion of adults spending four or more hours sitting at a screen or similar display on an average day (excluding time at work) in 2014 was 33% (37% for men, 29% for women).

Figure 9. Proportion of adults (16+) spending four or more hours sitting watching TV/other screen, by gender, 2003-2014


About This Indicator

Desired Outcome:
Increased energy expenditure.

Time spent sitting during leisure time (including weekdays and weekends).

Relevant Route Map action:
Does not map onto specific obesity action but indirectly relates to energy expenditure actions.

Geography available:

Equalities data:
Breakdowns by all six equalities groups are possible as all are included in the survey. However, some may require several years of data to be combined.

Rationale for including this indicator:

The aim of this indicator is to monitor the proportion of adults engaging in sedentary behaviour, such as hours spent sitting at a screen or reading during leisure time. Sedentary time at work is not included in the summary estimates.

Factors influencing this indicator:

  • Choice and availability of leisure activities.


Email: Daniel Adams

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