Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System (HWSS)

Author Identifiers

Anthony Gunnell

Scopus: 55320507400

Collection Type



Faculty of Computing Health and Science

School or Research Centre

Edith Cowan University Health and Wellness Institute


Edith Cowan University Research Online

Dataset Identifier



The Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System (HWSS) is a cross-sectional survey which can be used to investigate the relationship between modifiable risk factors and non-communicable diseases in a population-based sample of Western Australians. The HWSS study population includes approximately 55,000 Western Australians randomly sampled via the electronic white pages for a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview between 2003 and 2010, covering a range of health and behavioural issues. Information collected from over 6000 people per year include demographics, general health, self-reported co-morbidities, health service utilisation, mental health, physical and sedentary activity, body measurements, alcohol and tobacco use, and nutrition. More than 80% of respondents provided consent for the use of their de-identified information in health-related research projects and these people have been used for this study. The HWSS is a rich source of health and behavioural information from a cross-sectional sample of the WA population, including children, adults and older people. It allows investigation into the possible contribution of these modifiable risk factors and may provide further evidence for use in disease prevention efforts and policy-making decisions. Access to the HWSS was provided to the Edith Cowan University Survey Research Centre for the research project: Influence of Physical Activity and Sedentary Lifestyle on Non-Communicable Disease in Western Australians. The data consists of surveys, statistical data and analyses. Data was processed and analysed using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS).

Dr Anthony Gunnell is the principle researcher. Co-researchers are Associate Professor Daniel Galvao and Dr Vicki Graham of the Edith Cowan University Health and Wellness Institute.

Additional Information

Western Australia Department of Health owns the rights to the Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System data.

Research Activity Title

Influence of Physical Activity and Sedentary Lifestyle on Non-Communicable Disease in Western Australians

Research Activity Description

This study aims to describe the self-reported health and lifestyle characteristics of Western Australians randomly sampled monthly from the White Pages telephone register between 2003 and 2011. Relationships will also be investigated between variables, such as the association between physical activity and use of medication for high blood pressure.

In addition, data from the Health and Wellbeing Surveillance system is currently being linked to the Hospital Morbidity Data Collection, the WA Death Registrations and Cancer. Notifications databases to provide longitudinal data for investigation of independent associations between physical activity and sedentary behaviour with non-communicable disease (NCD) related hospitalisations, associated length of stay, incidence of multiple NCD-related hospitalisations, or death.

Funding for the research was received in 2012.

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End of data collection time period




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