Health Fact Sheets
Healthy Behaviours, 2017

Release date: June 26, 2018

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) collects information on the various health behaviours of Canadians. This article combines four indicators of health behaviour into a single score, called the Healthy Behaviours Score (HBS), which counts the number of healthy behaviours an individual has (smoking, drinking, physical activity, and frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption).  A score of 1 or 0 is given depending on whether the reported behaviour is healthy or not.  The HBS varies from 0 to 4 depending on the number of healthy behaviours reported.

As an example, an individual who was a current smoker (0), physically active for at least 150 minutes in the week (1), not a heavy drinker (1), and eating fruits and vegetables 5 or more times per day (1) would have a score of 3 (0+1+1+1).

In 2017, 50.4% of Canadians aged 18 and older (roughly 13.4 million people) had an HBS of 3 or 4, indicating a higher level of engagement with healthy behaviours.Note 1

Overall, women were more likely than men to have a score of 3 or 4 (54.6% of women, compared to 46.0% of men).Note 2 The difference in the HBS between the sexes was attributable to the higher likelihood of men to be smokers or heavy drinkers and the higher likelihood of women to eat fruits and vegetables 5 or more times per day. These differences were somewhat offset by a higher rate of physical activity among men (Chart 1).

Chart 1 Healthy Behaviuours Score, by sex, population aged 18 and older, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 1
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Healthy Behaviours Score
(appearing as row headers), Percent and Confidence Interval, calculated using Lower 95% limit and Upper 95% limit units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Healthy Behaviours Score
Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% limit Upper 95% limit
Males
0 2.7 2.3 3.1
1 13.5 12.8 14.2
2 37.8 36.8 38.9
3 36.1 35.1 37.1
4 9.9 9.3 10.5
Females
0 1.3 1.1 1.4
1 8.9 8.4 9.5
2 35.2 34.3 36.1
3 37.9 36.9 38.9
4 16.7 15.9 17.5

The distribution of the HBS varied by the highest level of educationNote 3 attained by a household. When the highest level of education was less than secondary school graduation, 34.8% had an HBS of 3 or 4. The proportion of adults with a healthy behaviours score of 3 or 4 was highest where post-secondary graduation was attained by a member of the household (52.9%, chart 2).

Chart 2 Percentage of adults with a Healthy Behaviours Score of 3 or 4, by highest level of education, population aged 18 and older, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 2
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2 Healthy Behaviours Score of 3 or 4, Percent and Confidence Interval, calculated using Lower 95% limit and Upper 95% limit units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Healthy Behaviours Score of 3 or 4
Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% limit Upper 95% limit
Less than secondary school graduation 34.8 32.7 36.9
Secondary school graduation,
no post-secondary education
43.2 41.4 45.0
Post-secondary certificate/
diploma or university degree
52.9 52.1 53.7

The proportion of residents with an HBS of 3 or 4 was highest in British Columbia where 56.1% had a score in this range. Compared to the national average, residents in British Columbia were more likely to have each of the four healthy behaviours associated with the HBS. The proportion of people in British Columbia who reported that they were physically active for 150 minutes or more per week, was noticeably higher than all provinces.

The proportion of residents with an HBS of 3 or 4 was lower than the national average (50.4%) in:

The proportion of residents with an HBS of 3 or 4 was in line with the national average in all other provinces.

See Table 1 for more information about the derivation and meaning of this score.

Table 1 Indicators of the Healthy Behaviours Score, negative and positive health behaviours
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 1 Indicators of the Healthy Behaviours Score. The information is grouped by Health indicator (appearing as row headers), Negative health behaviour associated with characteristic: and Positive health behaviour associated with characteristic: (appearing as column headers).
Health indicator Negative health behaviour associated with characteristic: Positive health behaviour associated with characteristic:
Physical activityTable 1 Note 1 Less than 150 minutes of activity per week Physically active 150 minutes or more per week
Smoking status Current daily or occasional smoker Current non-smoker
Drinking status Heavy drinkerTable 1 Note 2 in past 12 months Not a heavy drinker in past 12 months
Fruit and vegetable consumption Consumed fruits and vegetables less than five times per day Consumed fruits and vegetables five or more times per day

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from table 13-10-0096-01.

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