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Getting physical Sporting activity continues to grow

Swiss of all shapes, sizes, ages and genders are doing more and more sport

(Keystone)

More and more Swiss are doing regular exercise, with an average of CHF2,500 ($2,800) being spent on sport every year, according to a study by the Federal Sports Office.

“Sport Switzerland 2014”, released on Thursday, surveyed 10,652 people aged 15-74. Previous surveys had been carried out in 2000 and 2008.

The latest edition found that the trend was for people to do either a lot of sport or none at all: the percentage of people working up a sweat at least once a week rose from 63% in 2000 and 67% in 2008 to 69% this year.

The most noticeable increase has been among those who do sport for more than three hours a week: 36% in 2000, 40% in 2008 and 44% in 2014.

The percentage of people who do no physical exercise has remained stable at 26% since 2000.

While there is hardly any difference in sporting activity between cities and rural areas, more sport is done in German-speaking Switzerland than in the rest of the country.

That said, activity in French-speaking Switzerland has caught up, with lifestyle activities such as hiking, swimming, jogging and going to the gym becoming more popular among women and older people there.

Armchair athletes

In general, women do as much sport as men (60% of women and 62% of men do at least two hours of sport a week). Unlike previously, a lot of sport is done among all ages, with activity among retired people clearly increasing in recent years.

Main reasons given by virtually everyone for doing sport are enjoying nature, health benefits, enjoyment and switching off from the stresses of daily life.

A quarter of the Swiss population is a member of a sporting association and a sixth goes to the gym on a regular basis.

Also, 40% of Swiss have taken a holiday in the past 12 months in which sport was a central factor. However, every year 8% of the population have an accident during sport.

Even among those who consider sweating a sign of illness, eight out of ten Swiss follow sport in the media.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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