Results from the Tasmanian Population Health Survey 2022 released
More than 4000 Tasmanians took part in the latest TPHS, with the results showing a mixed picture of the health and wellbeing of our community since the last survey in 2019.
In addition to the standard questions asked since 2009, the latest TPHS also included new questions on mental health, wellbeing, social connectedness, e-cigarettes, discretionary foods, access to general practitioners and access to dental services. These topics were added after consultation with stakeholders about emerging issues, data needs, and data gaps.
These results show that more Tasmanians are reporting incorporating physical activity into their every-day life by walking, running, or bike riding, to get to and from destinations. Active transport has increased significantly, from 34 percent in 2019 to 54 percent in 2022.
It is also good to note that most Tasmanians rate their overall mental health, physical health and their life satisfaction as high or very high.
In the most recent survey, using wood heaters as a main home heating source decreased from 30 per cent in 2019 to 23 per cent in 2022. Smoke pollution from wood heaters can cause existing health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease to worsen. Long term exposure to wood heater smoke can also contribute to heart and lung diseases, diabetes, and stroke.
However, the survey outlines areas which continue to be of concern such as smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption, food insecurity and obesity, and other emerging areas, such as vaping.
The proportion of people who currently smoke has increased to 15 percent, up from 12 percent in 2019. In 2009, 20 percent of the adult population were ‘current smokers’.
This is the first year we have seen an increase in smoking rates since the first survey in 2009. The largest increase was among those aged 35 to 44 years – from 15 percent in 2019 to 22 percent in 2022.
New questions about e-cigarettes (vapes) were included in the most recent survey. Three percent of Tasmanians regularly use e-cigarettes.
The survey found that, compared with 2019 results, similar proportions of people reported that their Body Mass Index was in the obese range (28 percent in 2019, 29 percent in 2022), and overweight range (30 percent in 2019, 34 percent in 2022).
Only 6 percent of the population reported meeting the recommended vegetable intake guidelines, similar to 2019. A third of Tasmanians reported meeting fruit intake guidelines, less than 46 per cent in 2019.
It is concerning that one in ten Tasmanians reported experiencing severe food insecurity, where they ran out of food and were unable to purchase more, at least once in the previous 12 months. Of those affected by severe food insecurity, one in ten reported that this occurred weekly.
Public Health Services thanks everyone who took part in the survey, which will provide valuable insight to improve health and wellbeing outcomes in the Tasmanian community.
To view the report, visit www.health.tas.gov.au/tphsreport