Lifestyle infographic - if you require an accessible version or transcript, please email info@gcph.co.ukAlthough this lifestyle section is concerned, principally, with describing behaviours that impact on health in the city, it is recognised that lifestyles “choices” are related to wider life circumstances such deprivation, physical environment, mental health and wellbeing and early-life experiences. 

Click on our infographic to the right to see the key facts from this indicator set. 


Trends and inequalities in lifestyle related factors in Glasgow provide a mixed picture: 

  • Adult smoking rates have reduced over the last two decades but just over a fifth of adults in Glasgow are still regular smokers. 
  • Alcohol death rates rose steeply from the early 1990s, peaking around 2005 and have since reduced. Glasgow and Inverclyde had the highest rates of alcohol deaths in the city region in the period 2017-2021.
  • Drug related deaths and problematic drug use in Glasgow are particularly high levels; drug death rates have more than doubled in the last 5 years.
  • Six in every ten adults (62%) in Glasgow achieve the recommended weekly levels of moderate/vigorous physical activity.
  • Obesity rates have risen over the last 20 years in Scotland and in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 28% of adults in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are obese.  
  • The impact of damaging behaviours, such as smoking, are more notable in the more deprived areas of the city and levels of alcohol and drug related harm have been shown to be much higher in the most deprived areas of Glasgow. 

The lifestyle topics covered in this section are not comprehensive but do reflect some of the key health-related issues for the city: smoking, alcohol, drugs, diet, physical activity and obesityEach of these factors cannot be seen in isolation but relate to many other aspects of life in the city. In the Resources section we make the links between lifestyle factors and these other related factors.

The children's indicators section of Understanding Glasgow contains more detailed information on aspects of children's lifestyles, health and wellbeing within Glasgow.

The data on the Understanding Glasgow website comes from a variety of administrative sources and surveys, and the frequency of updates to these sources varies. The graphs and text on each page should indicate the period to which an indicator refers.  In some cases, where more recently published data is not available, we still use older published sources, such as the 2011 Census. Find out more about the timeliness of data presented on this website.


When referring to Glasgow we mean the area covered by Glasgow City Council and when referring to Greater Glasgow/Greater Glasgow and Clyde we mean the wider region covered by the NHS Board of that name.

*In 2006 the NHS Greater Glasgow health board merged with other regions to become NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

This page was updated in September 2022.

Additional Resources

  • Resource
    Wednesday, 11 June 2014

    Exploring alcohol-related harm in Glasgow

    A new report from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health explores the increasing burden of alcohol related deaths in Glasgow from a local, national and international context.
  • Resource
    Thursday, 26 May 2011

    Your Better Life Index

    A new, interactive index allowing users to measure and compare their lives.
  • Resource
    Sunday, 1 November 2009

    Miniature Glasgow - Video

    An extension of the GCPH's work profiling Glasgow's health, produced in collaboration with the International Future Forum.
  • Resource
    Wednesday, 19 August 2009

    A Games Legacy for Glasgow

    Brochure outlining the potential legacy of Glasgow's role as Commonwealth Games host city in 2014.
  • Resource
    Friday, 17 July 2009

    Views of Health in Glasgow - Video

    Originally produced for an international audience at a conference in Pittsburgh, USA, this film provides insights on health concerns and beliefs drawn from interviews with Glaswegians themselves and with a group of health experts.
  • Resource
    Monday, 3 April 2006

    Let Glasgow Flourish

    A comprehensive report on health and its determinants in Glasgow and West Central Scotland
View more Resources »