Health risk behaviours

The proportion of adults with two or more risk behaviours (current smoker, harmful or hazardous drinker, low physical activity, obesity[1]) in 2021 was 26%, a two percentage point decrease from 2019[2] (28%). The percentage of adults with two or more risk behaviours was at its lowest point in the time series in 2021, having ranged from 28% to 32% between 2012 and 2019. Find out more about this indicator.

The proportion of adults with two or more risk behaviours in 2021 was 26%, a two percentage point decrease from 2019 (28%).

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by age, gender, disability, socio-economic status and urban/rural classification. These can be viewed as charts in the drop down menus below.

Important information

[1] In 2021, the Scottish Health Survey was undertaken by telephone which meant that height and weight measurements used to calculate BMI were self-reported by respondents rather than being taken by the interviewer as in previous years. The self-reported measurements for adults were adjusted based on a comparison study by the Health Survey for England.

[2] Due to disruption to the Scottish Health Survey at the onset of the pandemic, the survey data collected in 2020 was published as experimental statistics and is not comparable with the time series.

Performance Maintaining

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In 2021, two or more health risk behaviours were more common amongst older age groups, with the 16-24 group having the lowest percentage (13%) and the 55-64 and 75+ age group the highest (32%).

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In 2021, health risk behaviours were slightly more common for men (27%) than women (26%).

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In 2021, adults with a limiting long-term condition were more likely to engage in 2 or more health risk behaviours than those without a limiting long-term condition (35% and 21% respectively).

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In 2021, there was a significant difference in health risks behaviours by deprivation, with the percentage of adults with two or more health risk behaviours in the most deprived areas (39%) almost double that of the least deprived areas (20%).

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In 2021, adults engaging in two or more health risk behaviours were more common in urban areas (27%) compared to rural areas (23%).

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Healthy life expectancy

Latest Update: 07 March 2023

This indicator estimates the average number of years a person spends in good health. Healthy life expectancy was analysed at birth and at 65 years. Find out more about this indicator.

In 2019-21, healthy life expectancy was 60.4 years for males and 61.1 years for females, compared with 60.9 for males and 61.8 for females in 2018-20. Female healthy life expectancy has been decreasing since 2014-2016. Male healthy life expectancy has been decreasing since 2015-2017. 

Healthy life expectancy is now the lowest is has been for both  males and females throughout the timeseries covered by the NPF.

The decrease in healthy life expectancy coincides with a stalling of growth in life expectancy in recent years, and has resulted in a lower proportion of life being spent in good health. Males spend 78.9% of their life in good health while females spend 75.6% of their lives in good health.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by socio-economic status and urban/rural classification. These can be viewed as charts in the drop down menus below.

Breakdowns for males and females by local authority can be viewed in the NPF database available for download here: https://statistics.gov.scot/resource?uri=http%3A//statistics.gov.scot/data/national-performance-framework 

Performance Maintaining

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The gap in healthy life expectancy at birth between the most and least deprived areas was 26.0 years for males.

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The gap in healthy life expectancy at birth between the most and least deprived areas was 24.9 years for females (based on SIMD deciles).

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Healthy Life expectancy is higher in more rural areas. The difference between the most urban and most rural areas for females is 5.6 years.

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Healthy Life expectancy is higher in more rural areas. The difference between the most urban and most rural areas for males is 5.5 years.

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Healthy Weight

The percentage of adults (aged 16+) who were a healthy weight in 2021 was 32%, a slight decrease from 33% in 2019. The percentage of adults who are a healthy weight has remained relatively stable over the past few years, ranging from 32%-35% between 2008 and 2021.

The percentage of children (aged 2 to 15) who are a healthy weight was 64% in 2021, a decrease of 4 percentage points since 2019. This decrease does not represent a significant change at the 95% confidence interval.

The proportion of healthy-weight children has fluctuated since 2008, with the lowest prevalence occurring in 2021 (64%) and the highest in 2015 and 2017 (both 72%).

The percentage of adults who were a healthy weight in 2021[1] was 32%, similar to previous years which fluctuated between 32% and 35% between 2008 and 2021.

The percentage of children who are a healthy weight was 64% in 2021[2], a 4 percentage points decrease since 2019. This decrease does not represent a significant change at the 95% confidence interval.

Overall, younger adults are more likely to be a healthy weight than older adults. The age group with the greatest percentage at a healthy weight was the 16-24 group (61%), while the age group with the smallest percentage at a healthy weight was the 55-64 age group (22%).

Among children, 75% of those aged  12-15 were a healthy weight, compared to 58% of the 7-11 age group and 59% in the 2-6 age group.

30% of men were a healthy weight in 2021, compared to 35% of women.

This difference was similar in children, with 61% of boys at a healthy weight in 2021, compared with 67% of girls.

28% of adults with a limiting long-term health condition were a healthy weight in 2021, compared to 34% of those who did not have a limiting long-term condition.

For adults, 31% of adults in the most deprived areas were  a healthy weight, compared to 40% of those in the least deprived areas.

There was little difference in the percentage of adults who are a healthy weight between those living in urban areas (32%) and rural areas (34%).

[1] In 2021, the Scottish Health Survey was undertaken by telephone which meant that height and weight measurements used to calculate BMI were self-reported by respondents rather than being taken by the interviewer as in previous years. The self-reported measurements for adults were adjusted based on a comparison study by the Health Survey for England.

[2] In 2021, the Scottish Health Survey was undertaken by telephone which meant that height and weight measurements used to calculate BMI were self-reported by respondents rather than being taken by the interviewer as in previous years. The self-reported measurements for adults were adjusted based on a comparison study by the Health Survey for England. No equivalent adjustment factors are available for children and hence the analysis is based on self-reported measurements.

 

Performance Maintaining

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Journeys by active travel

The proportion of short journeys less than 2 miles that are made by walking and the proportion of journeys under 5 miles made by cycling. Find out more about this indicator.

Since 2012, the proportion of journeys under 2 miles made on foot is little changed, from 48.5% to 47.6%. Over that time the proportion of journeys under 5 miles made by bike is little changed from 1.5% in 2012 to 1.7% in 2019.

In 2019, 1.7% of journeys under 5 miles were made by bike (similar to 2018, with just a 0.1% decrease) and 47.6% of journeys under 2 miles were made on foot (a 4.6% increase from 2018).

Although the proportion of cycling journeys remained steady, the rise in the number of walking journeys means the National Indicator status is determined as Performance Improving.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status and urban/rural classification. These can be viewed as charts in the drop down menus below and on the Equality Evidence Finder.

Performance Improving

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Results show that those in their 20s, 30s and 40s make the largest proportion of journeys under five miles by bike.

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Results show that as adults get older they tend to make a smaller proportion of journeys under two miles by walking.

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Men take a larger proportion of short journeys by bike than women.

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People with a permanent sickness or disability take a greater proportion of their short journeys on foot than the general population.

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White Scottish people take the smallest proportion of short journeys on foot.

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People with no religion take a slightly higher proportion of short journeys on foot.

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It is those living in the least deprived areas that make the largest proportion of short trips by bike.

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Over the past few years people living in the most deprived areas in Scotland have generally made a larger proportion of their short journeys by walking compared with those living in the least deprived areas.

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Mental wellbeing

The mean Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) score in 2021 was 48.6. This is significantly higher than the mean WEMWBS score in 2019 (49.8). Find out more about this indicator.

In 2021, the WEMWBS mean score for adults was 48.6, the lowest figure in the time series. This is significantly lower than the WEMWBS mean score for adults in 2019 (49.8). Across the time series mean scores have previously ranged between 49.4 and 50.0.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by age, gender, disability, socio-economic status and urban/rural classification. These can be viewed as charts in the drop down menus below and on the Equality Evidence Finder.

Performance Worsening

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Adults aged 65-74 years old had the highest average wellbeing scores (52.0) in 2021, whilst adults age 25-34 has the lowest wellbeing scores (46.0).

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The wellbeing scores were not significantly different for men (49.0) and women (48.3) in 2021.

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People with a limiting long-term health condition had lower mental wellbeing scores (44.7) than those who did not have a limiting long-term condition (50.4).

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Those living in the most deprived areas had lower average mental wellbeing scores (46.8) compared to those living in the least deprived areas (50.5).

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There was little difference in mental wellbeing scores between urban areas (48.5) and rural areas (48.9).

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Physical activity

Latest Update: 06 March 2023

The proportion of adults meeting the latest physical activity recommendations in 2021 was 69%, significantly higher than in 2019 (66%). This increase represents a significant change at the 95% confidence interval and the arrow is therefore performance improving.

This is the first increase in the proportion of adults meeting the physical activity guidelines in recent years.  Find out more about this indicator.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by age, gender, disability, socio-economic status and urban/rural classification. These can be viewed as charts in the drop down menus below.

Important information

Revised guidelines on physical activity were introduced by the Chief Medical Officers of each of the four UK countries in July 2011.  The previous recommended level of activity for adults was that they should do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week (i.e. at least 5). The new guidelines are that adults should be moderately active for a minimum of 150 minutes a week.

The impact of this change was an increase of around 24 percentage points in the proportion of adults meeting the recommendation. It is not possible to calculate adherence to the new guideline back over the time series, but figures using the old guideline were produced for 2012 and show relatively little change over time (39% in 2011, 38% in 2012).

Between 2008 and 2012, there was little change in the proportion meeting the old physical activity recommendations.

Performance Improving

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Adults in younger age groups were more likely to be meeting physical activity recommendations compared to older adults. The most active age groups were the 25-34 and the 45-54 age group, with 76% meeting recommended levels of physical activity. The least active group was the 75+ age group, with 44% meeting the recommended activity levels.

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Men were more likely to meet the physical activity recommendations than women (73% compared to 65%).

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56% of adults with a limiting long-term health condition met physical activity recommendations, compared with 77% of those without.

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77% of adults in the least deprived areas met physical activity recommendations, compared with 57% of adults in the most deprived areas.

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68% of adults living in urban areas met physical activity recommendations, compared to 72% in rural areas.

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Premature mortality

European Age Standardised mortality rates per 100,000 for people under 75. Find out more about this indicator.

Since 1997, the rate of premature mortality decreased year-on-year until 2015 when there was an increase. Since then it remained relatively stable until 2020 where there was a further increase, largely due to COVID-19 deaths.

In 2020, premature mortality rates increased from those in 2019. Premature mortality is currently 12 per cent lower than in 2006, the baseline year.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by gender, socio-economic status and urban/rural classification. These can be viewed as charts in the drop down menus below or These breakdowns can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder.

Performance Worsening

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In 2020, males showed a higher rate of premature mortality (566.6) compared to females (355.2).

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Those living in the 20% most deprived areas show a markedly higher rate of premature mortality (824.1) compared to those living in the 20% least deprived areas (242.6).

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Those living in remote rural areas showed the lowest premature mortality rates (360.9), with the highest rate of premature mortality being found in large urban areas (558).

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Quality of care experience

This indicator measures the percentage of people who describe the overall care provided by their GP practice as Excellent or Good. Find out more about this indicator.

The Percentage of people who describe the overall care provided by their GP practice as Excellent or Good in Scotland was at 90% in 2009/10. It has since fallen to 67% in 2021/22, which is down 12 percentage points from 79% in 2019/20.

The Percentage of people who describe the overall care provided by their GP practice as Excellent or Good in Scotland fell by 12 percentage points between 2019/20 and 2021/22, from 79% in 2019/20 to 67% in 2021/22.

Data breakdowns

This indicator is broken down by age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status and urban/rural classification. These breakdowns are available in charts in the drop down menus below. 

The Health and Social Care Partnership with the highest percentage of people who rated the overall care provided by their GP practice as Excellent or Good was Orkney Islands with 88% of people rating the care provided positively, while North Lanarkshire was the lowest with 52%.

Additional geography breakdowns by Health and Social Care Partnership are available in the NPF data set which can be downloaded from statistics.gov.scot : National Performance Framework

Important Information

Fieldwork for the 2021/22 survey was carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic. Questionnaires were sent out in November 2021 asking about people’s experiences during the previous 12 months. Therefore, there were a number of important changes to how services are provided that should be taken into account when making comparisons with previous surveys:

  • Guidance was issued to GP practices not to treat patients face to face unless clinically necessary.
  • Social distancing was introduced in practices.
  • While there were more remote consultations, electronic booking systems were used less as existing systems couldn’t screen for COVID-19 symptoms.

Performance Worsening

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The percentage of respondents rating the overall care provided by their GP practice as Excellent or Good generally increased the age of the respondent, with the percentage of respondents rating the care they received positively ranging from 58% in the youngest age group (17-24) to 71% in the oldest age group (65+).

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67% of males rated the overall quality of care provided by their GP practice as excellent or good, compared to 66% of females and 49% of people who identified as other.

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Those who didn’t have a disability were more likely to rate the overall care from their GP practice positively (70% rating it as excellent or good), compared to those who indicated that they had a disability that limited their day-to-day activities a lot (59%). 62% of those who indicated they had a disability and it limited their day-to-day activities a little rated the overall care from their GP practice positively.

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Results varied by ethnicity, with people identifying as African being the most positive about the overall care provided by their GP practice (75% rating it as excellent or good), while the least positive are those identifying as other ethnic group with 61% rating it as excellent or good.

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Those who indicated their religion was Church of Scotland, Other Christian or Jewish rated the overall quality of their care from the GP practice more positively (68%, 71% and 77% respectively, rated their care as Excellent or Good) than average (67%). Those who indicated they have no religion or were Muslim rated the quality of the care from their GP practice less positively (66% and 61%, respectively) than average (67%). Differences for other religions were not statistically different from the average.

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Those living in deprived areas are less likely to rate the overall quality of care provided by their GP practice as Excellent or Good compared to those from less deprived areas. 61% of those living in the most deprived quintile rated the quality of care from their GP practice as Excellent or Good, 9 percentage points lower than those who live in the least deprived quintiles where 70% rated it as Excellent or Good.

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People in remote rural areas were typically more positive about the overall care provided by their GP practice with 79% of them rating the overall care provided by their GP practice positively, compared with 67% overall. Those living in other urban areas or accessible small towns were generally less likely to report a positive experience with 61% of them reporting the care provided by their GP practice as Excellent or Good.

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Work related ill health

This indicator measures the prevalence of self-reported illness caused or made worse by work for people working in the previous 12 months. Find out more about this indicator.

The estimated prevalence of self-reported illness caused by or made worse by work, calculated as an average per 100,000 employed in the last 12 months, has increased from 3,530 to 4,110 cases per 100,000 employed.

This change, based on 3-year averages for 2015/16-2017/18 and 2018/19-2020/21, is not statistically significant.

In 2018/19-2020/21, the prevalence of self-reported illness caused or made worse by work was 4,110 cases per 100,000 employed in the last 12 months. This is an increase of 580 per 100,000 employed on the  previous estimate (3,530 in 2015/16 – 2017/18).

Performance Maintaining

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