Sciensano & Physical exercise

Last updated on 5-9-2019 by Daisy Tysmans

Sciensano regularly measures the population’s health status and analyzes its eating habits using surveys such as the Health Information Survey and the Food Consumption Survey (VCP). These surveys make it possible to follow the evolution of various factors that influence our health, such as physical exercise. To study the latter, the VCP compiles the data that the participants in this survey have reported themselves with objective measurements (accelerometer data). 
These data provide a valuable source of information for the scientific and medical community, and they allow the various governments to make targeted adjustments to their health policies.

Health Interview Survey (HIS)

Since 1997, Sciensano has organized a large-scale Health Interview Survey of the population in Belgium, every 4-5 years. The 6th edition of this survey took place in 2018. 

With this survey, we want to identify and study, among other things, the population’s main health problems and lifestyle habits. The ‘Physical exercise’ module is an important part of the HIS. It is important to repeat the HIS on a regular basis so that we can identify any improvements or new problems. Furthermore, this survey now forms part of a European Health Survey.  

Food Consumption Survey (VCP)

Sciensano also organizes a Food Consumption Survey (VCP). The previous editions date from 2004 and 2014. We use this survey to study the food consumption and nutrient intake of the Belgian population. Physical exercise is also looked at. In the 2014 survey, we further supplemented the reported data concerning physical exercise with measurements taken using an accelerometer (among children and adolescents).  

Based on the data from these surveys, policy makers can develop a proactive health policy tailored to the real needs of the population.

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