Summary activity levels
In 2018, information on physical activity was collected using the Short-Form International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). This questionnaire defines activity levels based on reported moderate or vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Respondents reporting below 30 minutes MVPA per week have been defined as “inactive” whereas those reporting 30 minutes or more MVPA per week have been defined as “active”.
Note: this differs from the UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines for sufficient levels of aerobic activity (at least 150 minutes/week of MVPA)65
Physical activity by age and sex
In 2018, 27% of adults reported less than 30 minutes of moderate of vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and were classified as ‘Inactive’. Overall, inactivity levels were similar between both men and women, with 26% and 27% respectively.
Inactivity levels tended to increase across age groups, especially for men, with men aged 16-24 being the least likely to be inactive (18%), and 45% of men aged 75+ reporting inactivity.
Women follow a similar trend to men for inactivity. Women age 35 to 44 were the least likely to be inactive (18%), and those age 75+ the most likely to be inactive (59%).