Green Prescription Patient Survey 2016 Report

Published online: 
01 September 2016

This report presents the findings from the 2016 Green Prescription (GRx) initiative patient survey, conducted for the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) in April and May 2016.

The GRx patient survey allows the Ministry to monitor the performance of the GRx initiative each year. The ongoing success of the programme is measured against nine key performance indicators (KPIs), developed by the Ministry. This measurement is also used to provide feedback to the 17 contract holders around the country. 

Key findings

Here are some of the findings from the almost 3000 respondents to the 2016 survey:

  • As in previous years, ‘weight problems’ was the most usual reason patients were issued with a GRx ( 53%)
  • High blood pressure and risk of stroke was second at  25% followed by arthritis and back pain (each 22%), stress relief (20%) and high cholesterol (18%).
  • 6–8 months after receiving their Green Prescription, 64 % of patients are still more active than they were before getting their GRx
  • 73% have noticed positive changes in their health
  • 55% generally feel better
  • 55% feel stronger and fitter
  • 48% have lost weight
  • 65% encouraged others to be active
  • 72% are active by themselves
  • 33% are active with a family member
  • 26% are active with friends
  • 15% are active in a GRx community group or programme
  • 71% have made changes to their diet (26% stating they are eating fewer/avoiding sugary food and  19% of these stating they have decreased portion sizes).

And what about the support provided for their lifestyle change?

  •  85% of respondents are satisfied with the overall support received from regional sports trusts and primary health organisations. The main drivers of satisfaction continue to be the encouraging and supportive behaviour of GRx support personnel during follow-up contact and improved health, motivation, confidence and happiness.
  • Once again walking is the most popular activity ( 69%), followed by swimming ( 54%), water or pool activities (45%), gym ( 43%), and GRx community groups or programmes ( 19%).
  • As for previous years, one third of the survey respondents were aged over  65 years and two thirds were female. European New Zealanders made up  59% of the respondents, Māori  28 % and Pacific peoples  13%.
  •  44% of respondents have a long-term disability or impairment that limits their physical activity.


Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    01 September 2016
  • ISBN:
    978-0-947515-62-1 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Research New Zealand. 2016. Green Prescription Patient Survey 2016 Report. Wellington: New Zealand.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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