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by Tom Freeman
01 March 2016
Physical activity: two-thirds of Scottish adults meet WHO guidelines

Physical activity: two-thirds of Scottish adults meet WHO guidelines

Nearly two-thirds of adults in Scotland are meeting national physical activity guidelines in their spare time, the vast majority without playing any sport, analysis from the University of Edinburgh has shown.

Sixty four per cent of Scottish adults take part in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended minimum to meet growing public health challenges such as obesity.

Using data from the 2013 Scottish Health Survey, researchers discovered walking and domestic activities such as housework, DIY and gardening account for more than half of the leisure time total for men and women who did more than the recommended 150 minutes of activity a week.


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Team and individual sport made only a small contribution among those who met the guidelines – 15 per cent of activity time among men and less than four per cent for women.

Among those who did not meet the guidelines, domestic activity accounted for most of the activity across all age groups.

Experts from the University's Institute of Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences and the University of Oxford analysed data from the 2013 Scottish Health Survey, which featured nearly 5,000 adults.

Tessa Strain of the University’s Physical Activity Health Research Centre (PAHRC) said: “These findings show that you can meet the recommended amount of physical activity by everyday activities such as walking. This is good news for those without the competitive inclination to step onto a sports field, pitch or court or for those who feel that gyms are not for them.”

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