New interactive tool on health-related lifestyles shows reduced smoking levels in Wales

New interactive tool on health-related lifestyles shows reduced smoking levels in Wales

A new resource has been produced on the health and health-related lifestyle of people living in Wales based on data from the Welsh Health Survey from 2003/04 to 2014.

Produced by the Public Health Wales Observatory, the resource focuses on a suite of indicators covering smoking habits, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity levels and levels of overweight and obesity.

The key findings for Wales are:
  • A continuous fall in the percentage who smoke from 27% down to 21%
  • Little change in physical activity levels, with around one third taking no activity in the previous week
  • An overall increase in the percentage who are obese, but a small decrease over the past two years in males
  • A slight decline in the percentage eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables on the previous day
  • Reductions in the percentages of persons reporting drinking above guidelines, binge drinking and very heavy drinking

The indicators are available at local authority and health board level and can be compared to Wales for males, females or persons.

Dr Julie Bishop, Director of Health Improvement said, “I welcome the publication of this interactive tool. Whilst there are encouraging signs for some of the measures, notably the continued fall in smoking prevalence, it is clear that there are significant challenges.
"To help tackle them, we are developing a new systems/settings based approach to health improvement. This will focus on more effective engagement across society to support healthy behaviour wherever people are.”
Nathan Lester, Head of the Observatory Analytical Team, said, “Measuring trends in health related lifestyle in Wales is possible thanks to the Welsh Health Survey which will end with the last year of data for 2015.
"A new National Survey will take its place from April 2016 the content of which is currently under consideration.  The maintenance of these key measures of lifestyle in the new survey is crucial.” 
It is hoped that this resource will be used widely among stakeholders in local authorities, health boards and partners to monitor progress and to help inform action to drive health improvement in Wales.
Further information on the Welsh Health Survey is available at
The Public Health Wales Observatory welcomes feedback on this web resource by email to [email protected]
More information on the Observatory and the services it provides is available.


Public Health outcome Improved health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities
Public Health Wales strategic priority Adopting and implementing a multi agency systems approach to achieving significant improvements in our public’s health