Information by Design
Lifestyle Survey Toolkit

An alternative to a Lifestyle Survey

You may not have the resources to conduct a full lifestyle survey, or may want to only include a small number of measures in your survey.  If this is the case, some information is also available at local level from national surveys. 

For example, the 2001 Population Census gives data for a range of variables relating to the household or the individual.  A very useful resource can be found on the neighbourhood statistics area of the national statistics website.

Benchmarking

Your lifestyle survey will provide you with data at the local level (e.g. Ward level, or at Local Authority or possibly PCT level).  It is important to be able to benchmark the measures you collect in your local lifestyle survey with regional or national indicators.  This means including questions from the large national surveys in your lifestyle survey where possible.  The following example illustrates the way that national measures can be compared to those collected at local level.

EXAMPLE: 6 National Measures

  North-East Region England and Wales
Limiting long term illness 22.7% 18.2%
General health perceived as 'Not Good' 12% 9.2%
People providing unpaid care 11% 10%
5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables   Men = 22%
Women = 25%
% Who smoke   Men = 27%
Women = 26%
Know many people in neighbourhood   30%
National Sources used in the above were:

Care should be taken, however, when comparing data collected from different sources, as they may not be strictly comparable.