In Switzerland, the share of the population that gets the nationally recommended amount of physical exercise, rose between 2002 and 2017 to 62.2% to 75.7%. The share among men rose by 10.6 percentage points to 77.8% over the same period and among women by 15.9 percentage points to 73.6%. The percentage of men who got the recommended amount of physical exercise was also significantly higher in 2017 than that of women, despite the gender gap narrowing over the whole period. Furthermore, the percentage of sufficiently active people in both genders rose the higher the educational level. 

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Getting enough physical exercise makes a positive contribution to physical and mental well-being and reduces the risk of health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, certain types of cancer and depression. Physical activity helps prevent overweight.

Two and a half hours per week of physical activity in the form of everyday activities or medium-intensity sport or 75 minutes of high-intensity sport or physical exercise are nowadays considered adequate for adults according to recommendations from the Federal Office for Sport (FOSPO).


This indicator shows the percentage of people aged 15 and over living in private households who are at least irregularly physically active (irregularly active/regularly active/physically fit) and whose activity level therefore meets the recommendations. The distribution of physical activity behaviour in the population is also shown.

It is based on the AGRAMTAG index from the Swiss Health Survey (SHS). The calculations are based on a combination of questions from the SHS on the intensity and frequency of the physical activities performed. The indicator distinguishes the following five different physical activity behaviours:

  • Inactive: less than 30 minutes per week of moderate physical activity and fewer than 1 intense physical activity. 
  • Partly active: between 30 to 149 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 1 intense physical activity.
  • Irregularly active: at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 2 intense physical activities.
  • Regularly active: at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week (on at least 5 days per week for 30 minutes or longer).
  • Physically fit: intense physical activity at least 3 times per week.

People who are at least irregularly physically active show adequate physical activity in line with recommendations. An intense physical activity is one where a person sweats (e.g. running or cycling). A moderate physical activity is one where a person may become out of breath without necessarily sweating (e.g. walking or rambling).

An explanation of socio-demographic variables can be found in the document: Dimension description



  • Health-enhancing physical activity (2013). Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO), Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Health promotion Switzerland, bfu – Swiss Competence Centre for Accident Prevention, Suva, Health and physical activity network Switzerland, Magglingen: Publication (in German, also in French, and Italian). (Recommendations for adults, p. 9) 

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