Physical activity

Adults meeting recommended weekly physical activity levels

The recommended level of moderate/vigorous physical activity for adults is at least 150 minutes of moderately intensive physical activity or 75 minutes vigorous activity per week or an equivalent combination of both.

physact HB 2016Click on graph to expand

Just over six in every ten adults (63%) in Greater Glasgow and Clyde achieve the recommended weekly levels of moderate/vigorous physical activity. This is slightly lower than the other health boards shown, but comparable with Scotland overall. 

physact sexHB 2016Click on graph to expand

Fewer women achieved the recommended levels of physical activity compared to men.

The pattern of physical activity in Glasgow across the sexes was similar to that seen in the other health boards in Scotland. 

physact HBSIMD 2013 16Click on graph to expand

Physical activity varies across area deprivation; 72% of those in the least deprived areas achieved the recommended levels of moderate/vigorous physical activity compared to 53% in the most deprived areas. 

Recommended physical activity levels

Meeting the recommended physical activity levels can be achieved through a variety of means, including sports, gardening, walking, through work, etc:

  • There are large differences in levels of active travel to work or school (such as walking/cycling) across Glasgow neighbourhoods 
  • The number of people cycling to and from the city has increased over the last few years
  • One in three Glaswegians have not participated in any sport over a 4 week period, which is higher than the national average
  • Who runs in Glasgow?: a 2012 report by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health shows that those from deprived areas are much less likely to take part in the large Glasgow fun runs.


Information on physical activity in children in Glasgow is available in the children's indicators - physical activity is measured slightly different in children. 

Source: Scottish Health Survey 2013 to 2016.

Meets moderate/vigorous physical activity (MVPA) guidelines: at least 150 minutes of moderately intensive physical activity or 75 minutes vigorous activity per week or an equivalent combination of both. Physical activity is calculated from self report. Survey participants reported any physical activity in the last 4 weeks, that had lasted at least 10 minutes, across a number of different areas including home based activities (housework, gardening, DIY), walking, sports/exercise and activity at work. 

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.
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    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 »