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Health survey finds most adults in England meet recommended physical activity levels

16 January 2014 - 11:21am

Most adults in England are getting enough exercise, according to a report by the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care.


Physiotherapists, as experts in function and movement, can provide advice and information on effective exercise. Download further information below

The report titled 2012 Health Survey for England, says that 67 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women aged 16 or over are meeting the government’s guidelines on physical activity levels.

The document, based on a survey of more than 8,000 adults, also found that the number of adults who meet the guidelines decreases with age.

The current guidelines recommend that adults aged 19 and over should spend at least two and a half hours a week in moderately intensive physical activity, in bouts of 10 minutes or longer, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of the two.

Increased wellbeing

The survey also found that people who meet the recommended levels of physical activity have, on average, a greater sense of wellbeing.

Participants who engaged in the recommended levels of aerobic exercise were found to have the highest wellbeing scores, while those classified as ‘inactive’ had the lowest.

The findings show a strong correlation between household income and adherence to the recommended guidelines for physical activity.

Participants with a higher household income were found to be more likely to meet the recommendations, with 76 per cent of men and 63 per cent of women in this category exercising at the recommended levels. This compared to 55 per cent of men and 47 per cent of women in the lowest household income category.

Commenting on the survey’s results Ripal Patel, CSP professional adviser, said: ‘The findings show an encouraging increase in the number of adults who met the minimal recommended level of physical activity in 2012, coinciding with the London 2012 Games.

‘Physical activity can protect against long-term conditions and improve quality of life so it is important to maintain and build upon this now.

‘Physiotherapists, as experts in function and movement, are well positioned to provide advice or brief interventions to help do so, particularly in vulnerable groups, and should maximise on the opportunity this provides to promote their services.’ 

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