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Page updated: 06 September 2011

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Updated: 06 September 2011

Health and Wellbeing of Western Australian Adults 2010

Health and Wellbeing of Western Australian Adults 2010

The WA Department of Health released its summary of adult data from the Health and Wellbeing Surveillance Survey (HWSS) on 16 July 2011. The HWSS is a continuous data collection system which was developed by the Department of Health to monitor the health and wellbeing of Western Australians. This report presents what WA adults aged 16 years and over were saying about their health and wellbeing in 2010.

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Health and Wellbeing of Western Australian Adults 2010

All of the information provided in the report is based on self-reported data.

The Physical Activity Taskforce has prepared the following summary of the adult physical activity findings of the report.



The HWSS is a CATI (computer assisted telephone interview) survey of approximately 550 individuals aged 16 or over each month throughout the year. 

Respondents are selected by a random stratified sampling approach to ensure representativeness to the population, and data are weighted to the 2009 Estimated Resident Population (ERP) provided by the ABS.

Self Reported Level of Activity 

  • When asked to rate their own level of activity, 51% stated that they were ‘active’ or ‘very active’.
  • Activity levels declined with age, with 53% of 16-44 year olds rating themselves ‘active’ or ‘very active’ compared with 51% of 45-64 year olds and 46% of those aged 65 and over.
  • Males rate themselves as more active than females in all age groups.

Usual Daily Activity

  • When asked how they usually spent their day, two in five respondents (42%) stated their main activity was ‘sitting’. This did not vary by age.
  • Males were more likely than females to report ‘heavy labour/physically demanding work’ (21% vs 5%); whilst females were more likely to report ‘standing’ (27% vs 17% of males) or ‘walking’ (27% vs 18% of males).

Levels of Sufficient Physical Activity

  • The active Australia guidelines were used to classify people as ‘sufficiently active’, ‘insufficiently active’ or ‘inactive’.
  • Just over half (54%) of respondents were classified as sufficiently active. Fourteen percent were classified as inactive.
  • This represents a significant increase over the levels of sufficient activity recorded in the 2005-2008 surveys.
  • Activity levels decreased with age, with 60% of 16-44 year olds, 51% of 45-64 year olds and 39% of those aged over 65 classified as sufficiently active.

Time Spent in Physical Activity

  • The average time spent in physical activity declined in the period 2003-2006.  Since 2006 however an upward trend is noted and the 2010 result is significantly higher than the 2006 result.

Sedentary Behaviour

  • Respondents were asked to nominate the time spent weekly watching TV or videos.
  • TV and video watching increased significantly with age (14.2 hours 16-44 years, 16.4 hours 45-64 years and 20.5 hours 65 years and older).
  • This does not differ between males and females.

Body Size

  • Respondents were asked to report their height and weight, from which their BMI was calculated.
  • Since 2002 there has been a decrease in the proportion of respondents who are not overweight or obese and an increase in the proportion who are classified as obese, whilst the overweight category has remained relatively stable.
  • However, results for 2010 were comparable with those reported for 2009.
  • Currenlty 40% of respondents (47% of males and 32% of females) are classified as overweight and a further 27% (27% males and 26% females) are classified as obese. In total 66% of respondents (74% males, 58% females) were classified as being above healthy weight.

Year published: 2011

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