Chapter 6 Physical Activity
In 2018, two thirds of adults (66%) met the guidelines for Moderate or Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA)*. This was the highest level in the time series, though it has not changed significantly since 2013 (64%).
*At least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, 75 minutes vigorous physical activity, or an equivalent combination of the two, per week.
Men continued to be more likely than women to meet the MVPA guidelines.
- Men 70%
- Women 62%
Adherence to the MVPA guidelines was more common among adults in less deprived areas, declining from 74% in the least deprived areas to 54% in the most deprived areas.
Adherence to MVPA guidelines declined with age, from over three-quarters of those aged 16–44 (77%) to 31% of those aged 75 and above.
Adults in the most deprived areas were more likely to have very low activity levels than those in the least deprived areas (32% compared to 12% respectively).
Average time spent sedentary by adults and children excluding time at work/school
- 5.3 hours Adults
- 3.3 hours Children
- 6 hours Adults
- 4.6 hours Children
Men spent more hours sedentary on weekend days, on average, than women (6.1 and 5.8 respectively).
The five most common reasons cited among adults for participating in activity were:
- 68% to keep fit
- 63% for enjoyment
- 44% to de-stress, relax & unwind
- 36% for health reasons
- 32% to socialize
Of those who had not participated in any physical activity in the last month, the main barriers were:
- 30% difficulty finding time
- 30% health not good enough
- 17% lack of interest