Life expectancy for Victorians is one of the highest in the world, but we need more exercise and to have healthier eating habits to avoid chronic disease, a key health survey shows.

The Victorian Population Health Survey 2016 has just been released, and is the most recent population data available on Victoria’s health. The Hon. Jill Hennessy MP, Minister for Health said the survey was a reminder to us all that a healthier lifestyle is crucial to decreasing the incidence of preventable illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The Department of Health and Human Services conducts this annual survey, which started in 2001, and surveys 7,500 Victorians around the state, and includes the following key highlights:  

  • We are living longer. In 2014-16 life expectancy in Victoria was 81.2 years for males and 84.7 years for females. This is among the highest in the world, and is largely due to decreases in infant and all-cause mortality.
  • Still too many of us are engaging in unhealthy behaviours. Just half of adults undertook sufficient physical activity for health benefits in 2016, and about a quarter of adults spent eight hours or more sitting on an average weekday.
  • We are overweight. Nearly half (49.7 per cent) of adults were overweight (pre-obese or obese) in 2016, and almost a fifth (19.1 per cent) were obese.
  • Chronic disease rates remain high. More than one in five adults have been diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes (5.9 per cent), heart disease (7.3 per cent), cancer (7.8 per cent), asthma (11.5 per cent), arthritis (20.4 per cent) and anxiety or depression (24.5 per cent).
  • A higher proportion (16.8 per cent) of adults aged 45 to 54 were daily smokers, compared with all Victorians (12.3 per cent).

To read all the survey findings, visit the Victorian Population Health Survey 2016 page on health.vic.

Person-centred services and care