MAPSTATS

How often do you exercise or play sport?

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Share of people who have answerd “NEVER” to the question:

“How often do you exercise or play sport?”

2017 (%)


There are 11 countries in which more than half of respondents never exercise or play sport.

Respondents in Bulgaria, Greece and Portugal (all 68%) are the most likely to never exercise or play sport, followed by respondents in Romania (63%) and Italy (62%).

In the Nordic countries, only small proportions of respondents never exercise or play sport: Finland (13%), Sweden (15%) and Denmark (20%). These are also the countries where respondents are most likely to exercise or play sport regularly or with some regularity: 69% in Finland, 67% in Sweden and 63% in Denmark.

An analysis of the socio-demographic data reveals strong differences, in line with the 2013 survey:

§ Men are more likely than women to exercise or play sport: 44% of men do so with at least some regularity, compared with 36% of women; conversely, 40% of men never exercise or play sport, compared with 52% of women.

§ The frequency of exercise or sport tends to decrease with age. A majority of 15-24 year-olds (62%) exercise or play sport regularly or with some regularity; this falls to 46% in the 25-39 age group, 39% for 40-54 year-olds and 30% for the 55+ age group. Correspondingly, the proportion that never exercises or plays sport ranges from 24% among 15-24 year olds, to 61% of those aged 55 or over.

§ The difference between men and women is strongest in the younger age groups: just 15% of men aged 15-24 never exercise or play sport, compared with 33% of women in the same age group. The gender gap becomes narrower as age increases: in the 55+ age group, the majority of both men and women never exercise or play sport (58% and 64% respectively).

§ A link also appears between education and the frequency of exercise or sport done. The majority of people who left the education system by the age of 15 or earlier (73%) say they never exercise or play sport; this falls to 52% of those who ended education at 16-19; and 31% of those who finished education at the age of 20 or over.

§ People in some socio-professional categories are also more likely to exercise or play sport: 26% of managers never exercise or play sport, compared with 37% in other white-collar jobs, 36% of self-employed people and 49% of manual workers. A high proportion of housepersons (67%) never exercises or play sport.

§ There are differences in relation to the respondent’s financial position: the majority of those who have difficulties paying bills never exercise or play sport (66% of those who have difficulties most of the time, and 55% of those who have difficulties from time to time, compared with 41% of those who never or almost never have difficulties).

§ However, socio-demographic variables do not appear to have an important impact on the proportion of people who exercise or play sport regularly (five times or more per week), with the figure for most groups staying quite close to the EU28 level of 7%.

 

source: Eurobarometer 472

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