Scottish Health Survey 2014 - volume 1: main report
Presents results for the Scottish Health Survey 2014, providing information on the health and factors relating to health of people living in Scotland.
This document is part of a collection
5 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Child Activity Levels
- In 2014, 76% of children aged 2-15 were active for at least 60 minutes a day (including school-based activity), a similar level to 2013 (75%).
- The proportion of children meeting the physical activity guidelines had increased since 2008 regardless of whether school-based activity was included or excluded.
- As in previous years, a significantly lower percentage of girls than of boys met the physical activity guidelines in 2014, irrespective of whether school-based activities were included or not.
- The difference between girls and boys in meeting the physical activity guidelines was particularly pronounced for those aged 2-4 and 13-15 where participation for girls was considerably lower.
- The proportion of children who had participated in sport in the last week was 67%, a similar level to that seen in recent years (66% in 2012, 67% in 2013) but a decline on the 73% figure in 2009.
- There was no significant difference overall in participation by boys (68%) and girls (65%) in sport in the last week, but participation by those aged 13-15 was significantly higher for boys (71%) than girls (56%).
Adult Activity Levels
- In 2014, 63% of adults were active at the recommended level (150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week), similar to the proportions in 2012 (62%) and 2013 (64%). One in five (22%) adults did fewer than 30 minutes of moderate or 15 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
- A significantly smaller proportion of women than men met the physical activity guidelines (59% and 68% respectively).
- The proportion of adults meeting the guidelines was highest for those aged 25-34 (79%), and steadily declined with increasing age with 26% of adults aged 75 and above meeting the requirement and 56% of the same age group having very low activity levels.
- The most popular sporting activities in 2014 were working out a gym (17%), exercises (17%), swimming (14%) and running (13%).
- Participation in sports tended to decline with age, with 78% of those aged 16-24 taking part and 22% of those aged 75 and above.
Perceived Impact of the Commonwealth Games
- A small minority of all adults in 2014 felt that the Commonwealth Games had influenced or changed their attitudes to, or participation in, sport. The largest reported impact was that 6% of adults said they were now more interested in sport and physical activity in general.
- Adults aged 16-44 were more likely than older adults to be influenced by the Games.
- 5% of adults interviewed after the Games started said they were thinking about doing more sport or physical activity compared with 2% of those interviewed beforehand. No other perceptions changed significantly once the Games began.
Motivations and Barriers to Sports Participation
- The main motivations for doing sport in 2012/2014 were: enjoyment (69%), keeping fit (64%), health reasons / improving health (33%), weight loss (31%) and meeting with friends (26%).
- Men were more likely than women to report enjoyment, performance improvement and training for or participating in competitions. Women were more likely than men to mention weight loss and accompanying children as their motivations.
- The main barriers to doing sport in 2012/2014 were: poor health (35%), a lack of time (32%), and lack of interest (17%). Men and women tended to mention the same kinds of barriers.
- Lack of time to do sport decreased with age, while health concerns increased with age.
The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle are well recognised. Being active on a regular basis puts a person at reduced risk of chronic conditions of particular concern in Scotland, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The benefits of being regularly active extend beyond physical health, with evidence that certain forms of increased activity may also improve mental wellbeing, another key health priority in Scotland. Exercise is now recommended by The Royal College of Psychiatrists as a treatment for depression in adults, and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) national clinical guidelines for non-pharmaceutical management of depression states that structured exercise programmes may be an option for depressed people. Among older people, physical activity is associated with better health and cognitive function and can reduce the risk of falls in those with mobility problems.,
High activity levels in childhood provide both immediate and longer-term benefits, for example by promoting cognitive skills and bone strength, reducing the incidence of metabolic risk factors such as obesity and hypertension, and setting in place activity habits that endure into adulthood.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated, in 2008, that 3.2 million deaths per year could be attributed to low physical activity levels. It is estimated that in Scotland low activity contributes to around 2,500 deaths per year and costs the National Health Service £94 million annually.
5.1.1 Policy background
Helping more people to be more active, more often is an over-arching policy objective of the Scottish Government. This commitment is reflected in the addition of a National Indicator to 'increase physical activity' to the National Performance Framework in 2012. Data from the Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) are used to monitor indicator performance. The Active Scotland Outcomes Framework, published in December 2014, was collaboratively developed through the National Strategic Group for Sport and Physical Activity. The framework relies on SHeS data for many of its indicators.
In addition, information on physical and sedentary activity collected during the survey interview is used to inform some of the intermediate-term indicators used to monitor the progress of the Obesity Route Map.
The Scottish Government have committed an annual investment of £3 million to increase the activity levels of those furthest away from meeting the guidelines - teenage girls and older adults. The Active Scotland web portal, developed by NHS Health Scotland, helps physical activity staff and health professionals signpost the public to physical activity opportunities.
In addition to the annual funding to boost teenage girls' activity, other key initiatives to tackle inactivity among children and young people include the Active Schools network which aims to increase the number of sporting opportunities available to children and young people. Alongside this, is the Sport Strategy for Children and Young People which aims to boost physical activity and participation and make sport as accessible and enjoyable as possible.
Several programmes to increase physical activity have been designed to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as part of the Legacy 2014 initiative. Progress on legacy outcomes is being tracked via Assessing Legacy 2014. Again, SHeS data are being used to monitor several of the Active Scotland Outcome Framework Indicators on activity levels (reported here) and awareness of the recommendations on physical activity (included in last year's report).
The key national legacy programme designed to influence population levels of activity in adults and children is the national Physical Activity Implementation Plan: A More Active Scotland - Building a Legacy from the Commonwealth Games (PAIP). The PAIP is a 10 year plan which adapts the key elements of the 2010 Toronto Charter for Physical Activity to Scotland, and links this directly to the Scottish Government's legacy ambitions for the Commonwealth Games. The Toronto charter was developed following extensive worldwide expert consultation and makes the case for increased action and greater investment on physical activity for health, environmental, economic and other wider outcomes.
The Plan represents Scotland's long term physical activity implementation policy. It adapts the Toronto Charter's seven best investments that work to promote physical activity and presents these in the Scottish context under five delivery themes: environment, workplace settings, healthcare settings, education settings and sport and active recreation. The data presented below demonstrate the importance of walking for physical activity, and one of the first milestones of the PAIP is the National Walking Strategy, published in 2014.
5.1.2 Guidelines on physical activity
In July 2011, drawing on evidence about activity and health, the Chief Medical Officers of each of the four UK countries agreed and introduced revised guidelines on physical activity. The revisions followed guidance issued by the WHO and are in line with similar changes made to advice on activity levels in both the USA and Canada. The guidance, tailored to specific age groups over the life course, is as follows:
Table 5A UK CMOs' physical activity guidelines
|Early years - children under 5 years||
|Children and young people aged 5 to 18||
|Adults aged 19-64||
|Adults aged 65 and over||
5.1.3 Reporting on physical activity in the Scottish Health Survey (SHeS)
Adult adherence to the new guidelines on moderate / vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in 2014 is presented in this chapter (adherence to other aspects of the guidelines, such as muscle-strengthening activities, will be included in future reports). Trends in child physical activity, both including and excluding school-based activities are also presented and the trend in child participation in sports and exercise has also been updated. As noted above, these headline measures are key indicators for a number of strategies. Chapter 9 examines the social patterning of these outcome measures for children over time, and for adults in 2014, by presenting activity levels by area deprivation.
A question designed to assess perceptions of the influence of the Commonwealth Games on adults' participation and interest in sports and activity was added to the survey in 2014 to help assess the Games' impact. The findings are presented here by age, sex and area deprivation. Adults' reasons for participating in physical activity, and the barriers they face, are also presented. Supplementary tables on physical activity are available on the survey website.
5.2 METHODS AND DEFINITIONS
5.2.1 Adult physical activity questionnaire
The SHeS questionnaire asks about four main types of physical activity:
- Home-based activities (housework, gardening, building work and DIY)
- Sports and exercise, and
- Activity at work.
Information is collected on the:
- time spent being active
- intensity of the activities undertaken, and
- frequency with which activities are performed.
5.2.2 Adherence to adult physical activity guidelines
Monitoring adherence to the revised guidelines (discussed in Section 5.1.2) required several changes to be made to the SHeS physical activity questions in 2012. Details of the exact amendments made to the module, and fuller details of the information collected about physical activity, are outlined in the 2012 SHeS annual report.
The current activity guidelines advise adults to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week or an equivalent combination of both, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. This guidelines is referred to throughout this chapter as the MVPA guidelines (Moderate or Vigorous Physical Activity). To help assess adherence to this guideline, the intensity level of activities mentioned by participants was estimated. Activities of low intensity, and activities of less than 10 minutes duration, were not included in the assessment. This allowed the calculation of a measure of whether each SHeS participant adhered to the guideline, referred to in the text and tables as "adult summary activity levels". A more detailed discussion of this calculation is provided in the 2012 report.
Table 5B Adult summary activity levelsa
|Meets MVPA guidelines||Reported 150 mins/week of moderate physical activity, 75 mins vigorous physical activity, or an equivalent combination of these.|
|Some activity||Reported 60-149 mins/week of moderate physical activity, 30-74 mins/week vigorous physical activity, or an equivalent combination of these.|
|Low activity||Reported 30-59 mins/week of moderate physical activity, 15-29 mins/week vigorous physical activity or an equivalent combination of these.|
|Very low activity||Reported less than 30 mins/week of moderate physical activity, less than 15 mins/week vigorous physical activity, or an equivalent combination of these.|
a Only bouts of 10 minutes or more were included towards the 150 minutes per week guideline
To avoid overcomplicating the text, where descriptions are provided of the summary activity levels, they tend to refer only to moderate physical activity, although the calculations were based on moderate or vigorous activity as described above.
A second summary measure was calculated for adults, in respect of meeting the guidelines to carry out activities that strengthen muscles on at least 2 days a week to increase bone strength and muscular fitness. Nine different sports were classed as always muscle strengthening, and other sports or exercises were classed as muscle strengthening if the participant reported that the effort was enough to make the muscles feel some tension, shake or feel warm. If the participant carried out such activities for at least 10 minutes on 2 or more days a week, on average, they were deemed to meet the muscle strengthening guideline.
5.2.3 Child physical activity questionnaire
The questions on child physical activity are slightly less detailed than those for adults. No information on intensity is collected (with the exception of asking those aged 13-15 about their walking pace). The questions cover:
- Sports and exercise
- Active play
- Walking, and
- Housework or gardening (children aged 8 and over only).
Since 2008, children at school have also been asked about any active things they have done as part of lessons (using the same format of questions as for all other activity types). Full details of all the information collected was provided in the 2012 report.
5.2.4 Adherence to child physical activity guidelines
For the purposes of calculating physical activity levels, it was assumed that all reported activities were of at least moderate intensity. Data on each of the different activities have been summarised to provide an overall measure of child physical activity. This summary measure takes into account both the average time spent participating in physical activity, and the number of active days in the last week. A child's level of physical activity was assigned to one of three categories:
Table 5C Child summary activity levels
|Meets guideline||Active on 7 days in last week for an average of at least 60 minutes per day|
|Some activity||Active on 7 days in last week for an average of 30 to 59 minutes per day|
|Low activity||Active on fewer than 7 days in last week or for an average of less than 30 minutes a day|
5.2.5 Perceived impact of the Commonwealth Games on adult activity levels
From January 2014, a random sub-sample of adults was asked whether Scotland hosting the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games had influenced them in any of the following ways:
I have taken up a new sport
I am thinking about taking up a new sport
I am doing more sport or physical activity
I am thinking about doing more sport or physical activity
I am more interested in sport and physical activity in general
These questions can only measure participants' perceptions - no data were collected on their level of sporting activity or interest prior to 2014, and no follow-up of individuals is being conducted to assess whether any new activities taken up were maintained, or intentions to do so were acted on. The question is also being asked in the 2015 survey so the sustainability of these perceptions at the population level can be assessed in future.
5.2.6 Motivations and barriers to physical activity
Adults were presented with a range of possible reasons for doing physical activities and asked to select the ones that applied to them. The options included reasons to do with improving health and fitness, improving performance, as well as social motivations, such as meeting friends. The full range of options is shown in Table 5.11. Various barriers to being active, or being more active, were also asked about, with the options spanning aspects such as costs, access, time, interest and poor health (the full options are in Table 5.12).
5.3 CHILD PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LEVELS
5.3.1 Trends in summary physical activity levels for children since 1998
Information on children's physical activity has been collected in SHeS since 1998, and data on activity done while at school included since 2008. Trends for the proportion of children aged 2-15 meeting the government guidelines of at least 60 minutes of activity every day of the week, including and excluding activity at school, are presented in Figure 5A and Table 5.1.
Excluding school-based activities, 70% of all children aged 2-15 met the physical activity guidelines in 2014. The long-term trend shows a significant increase from 2008 (64%) to 2014 (70%) although this has not been completely linear, and the latest figure is now very similar to that in 2003 (69%). Including school-based activities, 76% of children met the physical activity guidelines in 2014, an increase on the 71% seen in 2008, though this was not significantly different to the level in 2013 (75%). Levels of participation for all children increased by six percentage points when school-based activity was included, with the difference between these two measures having ranged between six and nine percentage points since 2008.
In 2014, including school-based activities, over three-quarters of boys aged 2-15 (79%) met the activity guideline, with the overall proportion since 2008 ranging between 73% and 79%, with no obvious pattern. There was also no clear pattern when school-based activities were excluded, with levels ranging from 66% to 74% (73% in 2014).
The proportion of girls meeting the required activity level showed a clearer pattern than that seen for boys. When school-based activities were included, a generally upward trend was seen from 64% in 2008 to 72% in 2013 and 73% in 2014. A similar pattern was seen when school-based activities were excluded, from 56% in 2008 to 64% in 2013, and 67% in 2014, with earlier figures from 1998 to 2008 having shown no real change.
The gap in physical activity in 2014 between boys and girls (including school-based activity) was six percentage points (79% of boys and 73% of girls). This gap has remained static since 2010 at five to six percentage points, which represents a narrowing of the gap since the earlier years of 2008 (13 percentage points) and 2009 (9 percentage points). Figure 5A, Table 5.1
Additional analysis of the change over time in the social-patterning of children's activity levels, including sports and exercise participation, by area deprivation is presented in Chapter 9.
5.3.2 Physical activity levels in children in 2014, by age and sex
As seen in Section 5.3.1, in 2014, boys were more likely than girls to meet the physical activity guideline, irrespective of whether or not school-based activities were included in the estimate. Almost three quarters (73%) of boys met the physical activity guideline, when school activity was excluded, compared with two-thirds (67%) of girls. Similarly, when school activity was included, 79% of boys met the physical activity guideline, compared with 73% of girls.
The difference between girls' and boys' activity levels was largely explained by lower activity levels among girls aged 2-4 and 13-15 in 2014 compared with boys of the same age. There was a six percentage point gap overall between boys (73%) and girls (67%) when school-based activity was excluded, but this rose to 11 percentage points for those aged 2-4 (82% of boys, 71% of girls) and 16 percentage points for those aged 13-15 (59% of boys, 43% of girls). Levels of physical activity were more similar for boys and girls in the other age groups. This pattern of lower activity levels among girls aged 2-4 and 13-15 compared with boys was also observed when school-based activity was included.
Previous years reports23, have noted that girls' adherence to the guidelines decreased with increasing age more notably when school-based activity was excluded than when it was included, suggesting the importance of school-based activity for girls. As Figures 5B and 5C illustrate, this pattern was not seen in 2014, with the differences in participation levels with and without school activity included being broadly similar for girls and boys in percentage point terms across the age groups. This will need further examination in future years to assess whether these results are an outlier or reflect a genuine change. Figure 5B, Figure 5C, Table 5.2
5.3.3 Trends in sports and exercise participation among children since 1998
In 2014, 67% of all children aged 2-15 had participated in sport and exercise in the week prior to interview. While this level has remained relatively stable since 2012 (66%) and 2013 (67%), this has declined from 73% in 2009.
Since 1998, girls' participation in sport and exercise in the previous week was at its highest in 2009 (70%), while figures from 2012 to 2014 have been relatively static at 63-65% (65% in 2014). This was in contrast to the overall increase from 2008 to 2014 in girls adhering to the required weekly physical activity as discussed in Section 5.3.1.
The figures for boys' participation in sport and exercise have seen a little more fluctuation over time (particularly since 2012), but there has been a statistically significant downward trend overall, with the figures for the three most recent years (67-71%) lower than those in 2008 (74%) and 2009 (76%). This was in contrast to the finding discussed in Section 5.3.1, that changes in boys' adherence to the physical activity guidelines have shown no clear pattern over the same 2008 and 2014 period. Figure 5D, Table 5.3
5.3.4 Sports and exercise participation among children in 2014, by age and sex
In 2014, 67% of children aged 2-15 had participated in sport and exercise in the week prior to interview, with no significant difference between boys (68%) and girls (65%). However, as Figure 5E illustrates, the decline in participation evident for the 13-15 age group was more pronounced for girls (76-80% for those aged 8-12, 56% for those aged 13-15) than boys (79% for those aged 8-12, 71% for those aged 13-15). Figure 5E, Table 5.4
5.4 ADULT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LEVELS
5.4.1 Trends in summary adult physical activity levels, and adherence to the aerobic activity guidelines in 2012-2014
In 2014, 63% of adults met the guidelines on moderate or vigorous activity (MVPA) of at least 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes' vigorous activity, or an equivalent combination of the two, per week. This figure has not changed significantly in the 2012-2014 period.
As in previous years, men were more likely than women to meet the MVPA guidelines in 2014 (68% and 59%, respectively). While adherence to this guidelines from 2012 to 2014 has remained stable for women at the 58-59% level, adherence among men has fluctuated slightly, increasing from 2012 (67%) to 2013 (71%), and then dipping in 2014 (68%). Figure 5F, Table 5.5
aMeets moderate / vigorous physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes' vigorous activity, or combination of both each week
5.4.2 Summary adult physical activity levels, and adherence to the aerobic activity guidelines in 2014, by age and sex
Activity levels were significantly associated with age, with younger adults in 2014 generally more likely than those in older age groups to meet the MPVA guideline. Adherence was highest among adults aged 25-34 (79%), and steadily declined with increasing age, with the lowest proportion found among adults aged 75 and over (26%).
In 2014, men's activity levels were notably higher than women's across all age groups (6-16 percentage points difference), with the exception of those aged 45-64 (1-2 percentage points difference). As Figure 5G illustrates, the difference between men and women's adherence to the MVPA guidelines was most apparent in the youngest (aged 16-24) and oldest (65 and over) age groups. Figure 5G, Table 5.6
Table 5.6 shows how the decline in adherence to the MVPA guidelines across the age groups was mainly accounted for by an increase in the proportion of adults with the lowest level of activity (less than half an hour a week of moderate activity or the equivalent level of vigorous activity). Around one in five (22%) adults in 2014 had very low activity levels, and women were more likely to have very low activity levels than men (24% and 19%, respectively). As reported in previous years, and illustrated in Figure 5H, low activity levels increase with age, and while this was true for both sexes, women aged 16-24 differ notably from men of the same age.
In contrast, the other two activity levels presented in Table 5.6 generally showed very little variation in 2014, either by age or sex. One in ten (11%) adults in 2014 had done 60-149 minutes of moderate or 30-74 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, and 4% had done 30-59 minutes of moderate or 15-29 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. Figure 5H, Table 5.6
Additional analysis of adult activity levels, and adherence to the MVPA guidelines, by area deprivation is presented in Chapter 9.
5.4.3 Adult sport participation in 2014, by age and sex
In 2014, just over half (55%) of adults had participated in sport and exercise during the four weeks prior to interview, with this being significantly higher for men (62%) than for women (48%). As in 2012,23 the most popular activities reported included a mixture of some requiring physical infrastructure or equipment, such as working out at a gym (17%), swimming (14%) or cycling (10%), and others that can be less resource intensive, such as exercises (17%) and running (13%).
Variations between men and women's sporting activities in 2014 followed similar patterns to those previously observed. For example, swimming, dancing (not including dance for fitness), hill-walking / rambling, racquet sports, and lawn bowls continue to be equally popular among men and women. Similarly, men remain more likely than women to have participated in running, cycling, football / rugby, golf, snooker / billiards / pool, basketball, climbing and fishing / angling, while women were more likely than men to have been to an aerobics / keep fit / gymnastics / dance class or yoga / pilates in the past month.
The proportion of adults taking part in any sports declined steadily with increasing age in 2014, from 78% among those aged 16-24 to 22% among those aged 75 and over. Figure 5I shows that this decline was largely similar for both sexes. Most of the individual sports, but particularly the more vigorous ones, showed this decline with age. As in 2012, golf, hill-walking / rambling and bowls were notable exceptions, with participation levels remaining broadly steady - or increasing - as age increased. Figure 5I, Table 5.7
5.5 PERCEIVED IMPACT OF THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES ON SPORTING INTENTIONS AND BEHAVIOUR
5.5.1 Perceived impact of the Games, by age and sex
Overall, only a small minority of adults in 2014 felt that the Glasgow Commonwealth Games had influenced or changed their attitudes to sport, or their actual sporting behaviour. In total, 6% said the Games had influenced them to be more interested in sport and physical activity in general, 4% were thinking about doing more sport or physical activity, 1% were actually doing more sport or physical activity, 1% were thinking about taking up a new sport and less than half a percent (rounded to 0% in the table) said they had taken up a new sport as a result.
There were no significant differences by sex, with both men and women having similar results, but there were some differences by age in 2014 with younger adults (aged 16-44) generally reporting more of a perceived impact than older adults (65 and over). For example, 8% of those aged 16-44 said the Games had made them more interested in sport and physical activity compared with 3% of those aged 65 and over, and while 3% in the younger group said they had been influenced to think about taking up a new sport, no-one aged 65 and over said this.
On the whole, perceptions of the Games' impact were not significantly different before and after the Games began. The sole exception to this was that those interviewed on or after the start date were more likely to say that the Games had made them think about doing more sport or physical activity (5%) than those interviewed before (2%).
These questions will also be asked in the 2015 survey. The sustainability of these perceptions, at the population level, will therefore be assessed in future reports. Table 5.8
5.5.2 Perceived impact of the Games, by area deprivation
Area deprivation was measured using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), grouped into quintiles. To ensure that the comparisons presented by SIMD are not confounded by the different age profiles of the sub-groups, the figures reported in Table 5.9 (and all other SIMD tables reported below) have been age-standardised (age-standardisation is described in the Glossary).
The perceived impact of the Commonwealth Games on people's sporting intentions or behaviour showed no statistically significant differences by area deprivation in 2014. Table 5.9
5.5.3 Perceived impact of the Games, by long-term condition status
The figures for 2014 in Table 5.10 that show the association between perceptions and long-term conditions have not been age-standardised but are instead presented by age group. The influence of the Commonwealth Games on sporting intentions or behaviour did not tend to differ significantly according to adults' long-term condition status (limiting, non-limiting, or none). The main exceptions were that 2% of adults with no long-term conditions stated that the Games had influenced them to do more sport or physical activity, whereas 1% of those with a limiting condition said this, as did less than 0.5% of people with a non-limiting condition. People with no long-term conditions were also twice as likely as those with a condition to say they had more interest in sport and activity as a result of the Games (8% and 3-4%, respectively). As Table 5.10 shows, this pattern was broadly consistent for all three age groups presented, which suggests that the association between perceptions and health status was not solely a function of the different age profiles of these groups. Table 5.10
5.6 MOTIVATIONS FOR, AND BARRIERS TO, DOING SPORT
The figures in this section report the motivations those who had participated in sports in the last month gave for doing sport, and the barriers non-participants reported to doing sport. To increase the sample size available, the detailed analysis of motivations for, and barriers to, doing sport uses data from the 2012 and 2014 surveys combined.
In 2012/2014, the five most common reasons adults who had taken part in any sport in the past month gave for having done so were: enjoyment (69%), keeping fit (64%), health reasons / to improve health (33%), weight loss (31%) and to meet with friends (26%).
A number of significant differences were apparent between men and women's motivations to participate in sport in 2012/2014. Men were more likely than women to be motivated by each of the following reasons: enjoyment (72% of men, 66% of women), improving performance (26% of men, 13% of women), and training / taking part in a competition (17% of men, 7% of women). Women, however, were more likely to be motivated by losing weight (37% of women, 25% of men) and taking the children (15% of women, 11% of men).
Many of the motivations varied significantly with age in 2012/2014, though with different patterns evident depending on the factor, and sometimes with different patterns for men and women (note that due to small numbers of older people participating in sport, figures for the oldest group are based on all those aged 65 and over). For example, keeping fit was mentioned by 66-69% of those aged 16-54, but was a less common reason for those aged 55 and over (56%). Performance improvement declined with age, from 25-27% of the 16-34 age group, to 11% at age 65 and over, with the pattern among men showing a clear successive decline between the three youngest groups, whereas among women the figures peaked in the 25-34 age group (18%) and were similar for the rest of those aged under 65 (11-15%). Training for, or taking part in, competitions also declined with age. An increase with age, followed by a decline, was seen for weight loss and taking children. Table 5.11
Table 5.12 presents the barriers to doing sport mentioned by people who had not participated in any sport in the previous month. In 2012/2014, poor health (35%) and difficulty finding time (32%) were the two most common barriers to participating in sport mentioned. The next most common reason was lack of interest (17%). The remaining barriers were mentioned by less than one in ten people, including 8% who said they already did enough and 7% who gave no reason.
The barriers reported by men and women were not, on the whole, significantly different in 2012/2014, and where differences did exist, they were quite small.
Differences in the kinds of barriers to sport mentioned were more notable by age (due to the relatively high numbers of younger people playing sport, the two youngest age groups have been combined for Table 5.12). Mentioning health problems as a barrier increased markedly with age in 2012/2014, from 11% of those aged 16-34, to 40% of those aged 65-74, and 63% of those aged 75 and over. Conversely, difficulty finding time was mentioned by around half of those aged 16-44 (50-54%), but decreased steadily with increasing age to one in twenty (5%) for those aged 75 and over. Concern about costs was also higher among those aged 16-64 (6-10%), compared with 2% of those aged 65-74, while no-one aged 75 and over mentioned this.
Although some gender differences in barriers to sports participation were apparent using 2012/2014 data, for example relating to time and health concerns in the 16-44 age group, the sample sizes for these groups were relatively small and hence the estimates are not very precise. Table 5.12
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