More than half of Italians never exercise

The Local Italy
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More than half of Italians never exercise
Sixty percent of Italians never do sport or exercise. Photo: Davidd/Flickr

Despite Italy boasting a World Cup-winning football team, a new study has revealed that the number of Italians who never do sport or other physical activity is on the rise and now sits above the European average on both counts.


Prowess in sports ranging from skiing and cycling to volleyball and tennis is also failing to inspire the majority of Italians, the study by Eurobarometer, published on Monday, has revealed.

The report said that 60 percent of people in Italy never do sport or exercise, and that 50 percent never do any other physical activities such as gardening or dancing.

Only the Bulgarians (78 percent), Maltese (75 percent), Portuguese (64 percent), Romanians (60 percent), Greeks (59 percent), Cypriots (54 percent), Poles (52 percent) and Lithuanians (46 percent ) have higher rates of sport and exercise aversion.

Moreover, only three percent of Italians exercise or play sport regularly, just one percent higher than those in Bulgaria.

Despite being known to enjoy a stroll, the study revealed that, on the contrary, Italians aren’t overly keen on walking either, with 39 percent of people saying they are unlikely to walk for ten minutes or more a day.

The Scandinavians are the most active, with only 15 percent of Finns, 14 percent of Danes and 9 percent of Swedes claiming to never exercise.

A shortage of time was the main reason given for not practising sport more regularly, while other factors include a lack of motivation or interest, having a disability or illness or that it is too expensive. 

Despite the negative findings, Italians do at least attempt to shape-up before hitting the beach each summer, according to a report last year.

READ MORE HERE: Italians work hardest at beach bodies

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