The truth: Physical inactivity levels in Europe vary drastically by country


Some of the interesting, and concerning information that came out of the 2014 Eurobarometer report on sport and physical activity revealed how active people were in different European countries. Overall, 42% of Europeans never exercise or play sport, but when you break it down by country or region – that percentage can varies greatly.

For example, the proportion of people who exercise or play sport at least once a week is 70% in Sweden, 68%in Denmark and 66% in Finland. On the other hand, Bulgaria (78%) and Malta (75%) have the largest proportions of people who never exercise or play sport at all. Portugal (64%), Romania (60%), and Italy (60%) also have concerning levels of people never engaging in any form of sport or exercise.

From policy makers to ministries of education, labour etc., from parents to students, from city planners to community leaders – we all have a role to play.

In Finland for example, where they consider physical activity to be a basic cultural right, 73% of Finns are happy with how much their local authorities are doing to enough to provide citizens with opportunities to be physically active, and 66% of Finns exercise or play sport at least once a week.

As individuals, there are so many ways to get started (we’ve gathered some here, here, and here). Don’t forget to have a look at the map on our website to see what events and activities are happening around the European Week of Sport near you.

Join us and help transform Europe into a #BeActive society that values sport and physical activity and the many benefits it provides us.

If you’re curious to know the statistics for your country, let us know, we’ve got an infographic for every European country – and we’re happy to share!

4 thoughts on “The truth: Physical inactivity levels in Europe vary drastically by country

  1. Wonderful website. A lot of helpful information here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you in your effort!

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