Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where you live affects your attitude to sports and physical activity

Since 1973, the European Commission has been monitoring the evolution of public opinion in the Member States, thus helping the preparation of texts, decision-making and the evaluation of its work. This is the website for the Public Opinion Analysis sector of the European Commission (Eurobarometer.) I found the following analysis of Europeans reactions to sport and physical activity interesting. I did know that, allegedly, my fellow native Dubliners are, I think, the second fastest walkers... what follows is more scientific!

40% of EU citizens play sport at least once a week and 65% engage in some form of physical exercise. But 25% are almost completely inactive, according to a special Eurobarometer Survey on Sport and Physical Activity published by the European Commission today. Ireland and the Nordic countries take sport most seriously, with 23% of Irish citizens practising sport 5 times a week or more, while Sweden, Finland and Denmark score the highest ratings for exercising ‘regularly’ or ‘with some regularity’ (once a week or more). At the other end of the scale, only 3% of citizens in Bulgaria, Greece and Italy say they play sport regularly. Men in the EU play more sport and also exercise more than women. The disparity is particularly marked in the 15-24 age group. The survey also finds a correlation between socio-economic status and physical activity. 64% of people who left school by the age of 15 say they never play sport, while this rate falls to 24% for those who left education after 20.

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