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.
The reduction of certain risk factors over the last 20 years (decrease in salt consumption and sedentary lifestyle) has contributed to the decline in mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Improvements in medical technology have also played an important role, contributing almost as much as prevention to the years of life gained (Vinci et al., 2021). Prevention and technology are therefore two key factors from a public health perspective.
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:
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