Monday, November 18, 2013

Sweden: move here and get moving!

Today I stumbled across an article from 2010 in Svenska Dagbladet which reported that exercise was a growing trend in Sweden, with the number of people reporting that they exercise three days a week or more increasing from 38% to 46% over a ten year period. This article was based on data from the Riksidrottsförbundet and I started wondering: what do the most recent statistics look like? Riksidrottsförbundet publishes the data annually in their report Idrotten i siffror. It turns out that the last three years have been largely unchanged: 44% of Swedes report that they train 3X a week or more and 75 percent train at least once per week, compared to 47% and 77% as reported in 2010. Interesting, however, is the fact that women are continuing to increase their physical activity, while we men are getting lazy, as shown in this chart:
Walking and strength training are Sweden's favorite activities, but running and mountain biking are in the top 6, which makes this multisporter feel good. 

I recall when I moved to Sweden in 2011 that it felt like a noticeable increase in the number of people out exercising--at all times of the day and at all times of the year. This wasn't just a feeling--in fact a report by the British Heart Foundation shows that Sweden is second only to Ireland among EU countries when it comes to regular exercise. 

Maybe if we can reverse the trend of lazy men, we can take over the #1 position!

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