Information by Design
Lifestyle Survey Toolkit

Data Collection Methods

Health and lifestyle surveys are most commonly undertaken by post, with mailings to residents from a few thousand (giving local authority level data), to 15-20,000 (giving ward level data) and up to 50-100,000 (in regional lifestyle surveys).

There are some exceptions to the ‘postal survey’ rule:

There are also experiments in using web-based lifestyle surveys. For example, Adams and White conducted on online lifestyle survey by advertising the survey on regional TV.  There are also examples of lifestyle surveys using ‘combined’ approaches – offline and online.

In deciding on which method to use in your lifestyle survey, it is worth first considering the pros and cons of the various data collection methods. Click here for more detail.

A summary of the trade-offs between data collection methodology response rate, bias and cost is given here.

For background information on the key aspects of precision and bias, click here.