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Swiss more sporty than ever

Cycling remains the favourite sporting pastime of the Swiss Keystone

The Swiss are playing more sport than ever before, according to a survey commissioned by the Swiss Olympic Association. The study shows that two-thirds of the population take part in some form of sporting activity at least once a week.

The survey, released on Thursday, found that the Swiss are not only more keen on sport, but that they regularly play an average of three different sports.

The survey also recorded growing public involvement in sports previously confined to the fringes. Inline skating and snowboarding have experienced the greatest rise in popularity over the past decade.

There has been little change, however, at the top of the sporting popularity stakes. Cycling, swimming, walking, jogging and skiing remain the country’s favourite sporting pastimes.

The report, conducted by the Lamprecht and Stamm social research company, found that the Swiss are among the biggest sports enthusiasts in Europe – only the Finns and the Swedes are more active.

The Swiss say the main reasons they play sport are to stay healthy and to socialise with friends. And they seem happy to pay for the privilege – the survey found that the average Swiss spends SFr1,400 ($810) a year on sport.

Women were found to be almost as keen on sport as men, although the sexes differ in their choice of activities.

Most men tend to favour football and cycling, while women go in for ice skating, gymnastics and yoga. Both sexes enjoy skiing, tennis, athletics and swimming.

The study also looked at the most popular spectator sports in Switzerland, with skiing, athletics, tennis, football, ice hockey and motor racing coming out on top.

Finally, the report considered the remaining third of the population who said they never played sport. Almost half said they simply didn’t have time, with only five per cent of the total population admitting that they simply didn’t enjoy sport.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR