Stat of the day: Activity limitations in local authorities

By Angela Matthews

The Office for National Statistics has released more data on “activity limitations” within different local authorities this morning. I’m not going to comment on the different locations at the moment as the data is vast, but there are some interesting observations on age and gender. The data looks at England and Wales (i.e. not all of the UK) in 2011.

The question asked is, “Are your day-to-day activities limited because of a health problem or disability which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months?” A fifth of respondents said that they were. A large number considering that we are just looking England and Wales.

Respondents are then asked to determine if their daily activities are limited “a little” or “a lot”. 20.5 per cent said they were limited a little, and 18 per cent said they were limited a lot. Whether or not “substantial” adverse effect (the wording used in the Equality Act’s definition of ‘disability’) kicks in at “a little” or “a lot”, I’m not sure.

The data shows that gender divides within limitations begin to occur at around the age of 75 – almost 20 per cent of women report a limitation and almost 19 per cent of men. The explanations for this are reported to be around women having higher incidences of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis that can lead to other problems (such as falls and mobility difficulties). Other conditions also common among older women are depression and back problems.

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