Health Fact Sheets
Healthy behaviours, 2015

Release date: March 22, 2017

This article combines four indicators of health behaviour into a single score, called the Healthy Behaviours Score (HBS), which counts the number of positive health behaviours an individual has. See ‘About the Healthy Behaviours Score’ and 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 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 vegetables consumption Consumed fruits and vegetables less than five times per day Consumed fruits and vegetables five or more times per day

In 2015, 50.9% of Canadians aged 18 and older, or roughly 13.2 million people, had a HBS of 3 or 4.Note 3 Overall, women were more likely than men to have a score of 3 or 4 (55.1% of women, compared to 46.5% of men).Note 4 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

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% and Upper 95% units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Healthy behaviours score
Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% Upper 95%
Males  
0 2.6 2.2 3.0
1 13.9 13.1 14.7
2 37.1 36 38.2
3 35.5 34.4 36.6
4 10.9 10.2 11.7
Females  
0 1.3 1.1 1.6
1 9.1 8.6 9.7
2 34.4 33.4 35.5
3 37.6 36.5 38.6
4 17.5 16.7 18.3

Income had a notable effect on the distribution of HBS. The proportion of adults in the lowest household income quintileNote 5 were the least likely to have an HBS of 3 or 4 (43.6%). From the lowest quintile to the fourth quintile, the proportion of adults with a score of 3 or 4 increased while the fourth and fifth quintile had a similar proportion of adults.  In the fourth and fifth quintile, around 55% of Canadian adults had a HBS of 3 or 4 (Chart 2).

Chart 2

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, calculated using Lower 95% and 95% Upper 95% units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Healthy behaviours score of 3 or 4
Percent Intervalles de confiance
Lower 95% Upper 95%
First quintile 43.6 41.6 45.5
Second quintile 48.6 46.7 50.4
Third quintile 51.6 49.8 53.3
Fourth quintile 54.2 52.4 55.9
Fifth quintile 55.5 54.0 57.1

The proportion of residents with an HBS of 3 or 4 was lower than the national average (50.9%) in:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador (36.6%)
  • Nova Scotia (46.7%)
  • New Brunswick (46.4%)
  • Ontario (49.4%)
  • Manitoba (46.3%)
  • Saskatchewan (45.1%)

The proportion of residents with an HBS of 3 or 4 was higher than the national average in:

  • Alberta (53.0%)
  • British Columbia (57.3%)

Residents of Prince Edward Island and Quebec reported rates that were about the same as the national average.

About the Healthy Behaviours Score

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) collects information on the various health behaviours of Canadians. The Healthy Behaviours Score (HBS) is based on four of them: smoking, drinking, physical activity, and 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 behaviour 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).

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0508.

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