Survey uncovers major health findings in England
Nearly two thirds of men (66 per cent) are meeting national aerobic activity guidelines compared to 58 per cent of women, according to NHS Digital figures.
The Health Survey for England 2016 monitors trends in the nation’s health and covers a differing variety of topics each year including obesity, smoking and drinking and wellbeing. The survey gathers information from both adults and children.
London had the highest proportion of people aged 16 or over meeting the guidelines for aerobic activity, at 65 per cent, whereas the West Midlands had the lowest, at 53 per cent. On average, 62 per cent of adults in England met the guidelines.
The UK guidelines for aerobic physical activity recommend that adults aged 19 and over should undertake a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week, or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
While men were more likely to meet the aerobic activity guidelines than women, the survey also showed that on average men were more sedentary than women when not at their paid work, spending an average of 4.8 hours sitting on a weekday and 5.3 hours on a weekend compared to women’s 4.6 weekday hours and 4.9 weekend hours.
The survey also found that 26 per cent of men and 27 per cent of women were obese, but the proportion of adults who were obese has been similar since 2010. The authors also found being overweight was more common than being obese and 40 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women were overweight, but not obese.
Obesity in children aged between two and 15 is affecting 16 per cent and a further 12 per cent of children were overweight (but not obese).
Figures for chronic kidney disease showed that two per cent of adults have been diagnosed by a doctor. The report showed 28 per cent of adults had high blood pressure (hypertension), while 12 per cent were found to have untreated hypertension.
When it comes to prescribed medication, 48 per cent of adults reported having taken at least one type of prescription drug in the last week and 24 per cent had taken three or more.
The survey also shows that the use of 10 or more prescribed medicines in the past week was relatively uncommon overall at just three per cent of all adults. Among older adults, the proportions who had used 10 or more prescribed medicines in the last week was six per cent of those aged 65 to 74 and 13 per cent of those aged 85 and over.
The survey is commissioned by NHS Digital and carried out by NatCen Social Research in conjunction with University College London, who co-author the report.
To read the report in full, click here.