Canadian Community Health Survey 2008

In 2008, the vast majority of Canadians (91%) reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with life. Life satisfaction was strongly linked to self-reported health status. Over half of Canadians said they were moderately active. Varying numbers of Canadians reported stress and mood disorders and were exposed to various lifestyle health risks including obesity or being overweight, smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, and heavy drinking.

Life satisfaction
The highest rate of life satisfaction was 94% among teenagers aged 12 to 19. Boys in this age group were slightly more likely than girls to report satisfaction with life.

Life stress
Daily stress rates peaked at more than 28% in the working-age groups 35 to 44 and 45 to 54. These individuals are most likely to be managing multiple roles associated with career and family responsibilities. Women were more likely than men to report that most days were stressful. Stress tapered off at older ages. Just 10% of seniors found their days stressful.

Among those who reported that their days were quite a bit or extremely stressful, 82% said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with life. In comparison, of those who did not find their days very stressful, 96% were satisfied or very satisfied.

Mood disorders
In 2008, 6.8% of Canadians aged 12 or older reported that they had been diagnosed with a mood disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder or mania. This was up from 5.3% in 2003.

Women consistently reported significantly higher levels of mood disorders than men between 2003 and 2008.

Overall, women were more likely than men to report a diagnosed mood disorder: 8.5% compared with 5.0%. Women 45 to 54 (10.9%) and 55 to 64 (10.0%) showed an above average prevalence of such disorders. For men, only those aged 55 to 64 (7.4%) reported mood disorders at an above average rate.

Obesity and overweight
In 2008, 51% of Canadian adults reported excess weight. About 17% of Canadians aged 18 or older reported weight and height that put them in the obese category, up from 15% in 2003.

From 2003 to 2008, obesity rates among men rose from 16% to 18%, and among women from 15% to 16%.

Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke
In 2008, about one in five Canadians aged 12 or older (21%) reported that they smoked, either daily or occasionally. This was down from 26% in 2001.

The smoking rate was highest in the age group 20 to 34 in which one-third of men and one-quarter of women were smokers. In every age group except for 17 and younger, men were more likely than women to report that they smoked.

Heavy drinking
In 2008, 24% of men and 10% of women reported heavy drinking, defined as having five or more drinks per occasion at least 12 times a year.

This practice was more common among men than women in every province and territory and in every age group. The single exception was the age group 12 to 15, in which there was no significant difference between the sexes.

Activity in leisure time
In 2008, 51% of Canadians were at least moderately active during their leisure time. This is equivalent to walking at least 30 minutes a day or taking an hour-long exercise class at least three times a week.

For both sexes, the percentage reporting at least moderately active leisure time was highest in the group aged 12 to 19: 77% for boys and 61% for girls. Among men, the percentage who were at least moderately active levelled off close to 49% after age 35 and remained at that level through their senior years. After age 20, the percentage of women who were at least moderately active stabilized at about 47% then dropped to 37% at age 65 or older.

You can find more details at:

For further information or to schedule interviews with a Statistics Canada Analyst regarding this release please contact: Jey Dharmaraj, at: (416) 954-5976 or


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