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Health-related Behaviours

This page measures the incidence rates of smoking and physical activity within the North East

Population and health
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How are Smoking and Physical Activity Measured?

Smoking prevalence shows the proportion of the adult population (18+) who are self-reported smokers in the Annual Population Survey. The number of respondents is weighted to improve the representativeness of the sample.

Physical activity measures the proportion of respondents aged 19 and over doing at least 150 moderate intensity equivalent (MIE) minutes physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more in the previous 28 days. This value is expressed as a percentage of the total number of respondents aged 19 and over.

The latest smoking data

The North East Region had the highest proportion of smoking in 2021, at 14.8% when compared to similar regions. The proportion of smokers across England was 1.8pp lower at 13% in 2021.

There was a significant change in the proportion on smokers within North East LAs between 2015 and 2021 with the number of smokers reducing year on year. The area with the lowest proportion of smokers in 2021 was Northumberland (11.8%) and the highest in 2021 was South Tyneside (16.3%). Sunderland had the highest proportion of smokers during the seven year time period; in 2017 this value peaked at 22.7%.

The latest physical activity data

There was a lower proportion of physically active adults in the North East region than when compared to England; this value remains consistently around 2% lower in the North East. In the North East in 2021/22, 65.4% of adults were physically active; this value was 67.3% in England.

Across LAs in the North East, the proportion of physically active adults ranges between 61.2% (Gateshead) and 70.1% (Northumberland). There are no significant outliers between the North East LAs.