Bicycle Network: Benchmarks
The National Health Survey
The National Health Survey is run by the ABS every three years. It allows those involved in health to set benchmarks, monitor trends and set priorities for interventions.
The collection of data on the nation’s health has grown in scale and sophistication over the last thirty years.
The Australian Health Surveys of 1977-78 and 1983 were replaced by the National Health Surveys of 1989-90 and 1995. These gave way in turn to triennial surveys since 2001. The surveys now collect information about the health status of Australians, their use of health services and facilities, and health related aspects of their lifestyle.
This data has allowed those involved in health to set benchmarks, monitor trends and set priorities for interventions.
Current data 2007 - 2008
The current data set is the ABS National Health Survey, Australia 2007-2008 (cat. no. 4364.0) (NHS).
The 2007/8 survey found a number of things, for example, for the first time since 1995 the NHS measured the height, weight, hip and waist circumference of respondents aged 5 years or more. This revealed that in 2007-08, 61.4% of the Australian population were either overweight or obese:
• 42.1% of adult males and 30.9% of adult females were classified as overweight (Body Mass Index between 25.0 and 30.0 kg/m2).
• 5.6% of males and 24% of females were classified as obese (Body Mass Index > 30.0 kg/m2).
The next NHS
This project has been upgraded again into the 2011/13 Australian Health Survey which the government calls ‘the most comprehensive study of the health of Australians ever undertaken’. The Survey will collect information from about 50,000 adults and children all across Australia. Interviewers from the ABS will visit people in their homes to conduct personal interviews asking questions about topics such as demographics, risk factors, health status, medications, chronic diseases, use of health services, and nutrition and physical activity habits.