Four out of five of people now practice a sport, including a growing number of older people, a nationwide study shows. French- and Italian-speaking sports fans appear to have caught up with their German-speaking neighbours.
From 2014-2020 the number of people doing no sporting activities at all in Switzerland fell sharply from 26% to 16%, the Federal Sports Office reported on Monday.
The number of people doing sports several times a week also rose from 44% to 51%, the federal survey showed.
The increase is largely due to middle-aged and elderly men and women, it said. Today, women practice sport as often as men, and many start new physical activities from age 45 onwards.
Swiss-German-speaking regions continue to lead the Swiss pack – only 14% say they never do any sports. But French- and Italian-speaking regions have reduced the gap over the past six years. Only 21% say they do no sport at all and in both regions 48% say they do sport several times a week for over three hours in total.
Walking, cycling, swimming, skiing and jogging remain the most popular physical activities. Meanwhile, weight training, yoga and dance activities have gained in popularity.
On average, each resident spends CHF2,000 a year on sports activities.
The survey also revealed that Switzerland came third overall in a Eurobarometer sports and physical activity comparative ranking – behind Finland and Sweden, and ahead of Denmark. Bringing up the rear were Portugal, Greece and Bulgaria.