Risk factors

Table 14: Personal health risk factors, by remoteness, 2011-12

 

MC

IR

OR/rem

 

Percent

Current daily smoking, 18 years+ (a)

14.7

18.4

22.4

Overweight/obese, 18+ (a)

60.2

68.7

69.5

Exceeded 2009 NHMRC lifetime risk guidelines 18+ (b)

18.5

20.7

23.7

Exceeded 2009 NHMRC single occasion risk guidelines 18+ (b)

43.0

47.2

51.5

Inadequate fruit or vegetable consumption 18+(b)

95.3

92.5

92.1

Sedentary/Low exercise  level 18+(b)

66.0

71.6

71.2

Inactive 18+ (c)

18.3

25.4

25.2

Insufficiently active 18+ (c)

35.3

37.3

34.6

Sufficiently active for health 18+ (c)

45.4

36.0

39.0

Source: 2011-12 ABS Australian Health Survey
(a)updated results
(b) first results
(c) physical activity results
http://www.abs.gov.au/australianhealthsurvey

People living in rural and regional Australia are much more likely to smoke (~20% vs ~15%), are more likely to be overweight (~70% vs ~60%), are more likely to drink alcohol at levels that expose them to risk, more likely to be sedentary (~72% vs 66%) and less likely to be sufficiently active for health (~38% vs ~45%). They are more likely to consume adequate quantities of fruit and vegetables than their major cities counterparts (~8% ate sufficient fruit and vegetables compared with ~5% in MCs).

 

Smoking

Figure 5: Current daily smoking, percent of all Australians 18 years+, by SEIFA

Source: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4364.0.55.0032011-2012?OpenDocument

SEIFA strongly influences smoking rates.

Remoteness also appears to influence smoking rates – particularly in the lowest SEIFA quintile

The smoking rate in the lowest SEIFA quintile is 10 percentage points higher in OR/remote areas compared with MCs, while regional smoking rates in the other and higher SEIFA quintiles are up to 5 percentage points higher than in major cities.

 

Overweight

Figure 6: Overweight/obese, percent of all Australians 18 years+, by SEIFA

 

Source: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4364.0.55.0032011-2012?OpenDocument

Overweight/obesity is common in all areas.

Remoteness of the area appears to have a slightly greater effect on prevalence of overweight/obesity than socioeconomic status of the area.

 

Alcohol

There is evidence that provides suggestions on the way forward in addressing alcohol use, particularly amongst young people.  Studies have found that young people with the highest levels of boredom in their leisure time are more likely to drink to excessive levels, and that young people who have the lowest levels of leisure-related boredom were less likely to participate in risk taking behaviour generally.