Physical exercise

Updated: 3 Oct 2018
Next update: 2 Oct 2019

The indicator expresses the share of those aged 20 to 64 who do not engage in physical exercise in their leisure time.

AVTK: Based on the question 'How much do you engage in physical exercise and strain yourself physically in your leisure time?' The options were: 1) in my own time, I read, watch television and perform chores which do not involve much physical exercise and which involve no physical strain, 2) in my own time, I walk, cycle or engage in other forms of physical exercise for at least 4 hours per week, 3) in my own time, I engage in actual fitness training for at least 3 hours per week on average, 4) in my own time, I train competitively on a regular basis several times a week.

ATH: Based on the question 'How much do you engage in physical exercise and strain yourself physically in your leisure time?' Do not include exercise on the way to and from work. The options were: 1) I read, watch television and perform chores which involve no physical strain, 2) I walk, cycle or do light household and garden work, etc. for several hours per week, 3) I engage in actual fitness training or sports, such as running, skiing, swimming or ball games for several hours per week.

Both AVTK and ATH examined the share of those selecting response option 1.

Data material:

The postal survey Health Behaviour and Health among the Finnish Adult Population (AVTK) was conducted yearly from 1978 to 2014 (www.thl.fi/avtk).

The Regional Health and Welfare Study (ATH) yearly since 2012. (www.thl.fi/ath)

   

Leisure-time physical exercise is not practised by 23 per cent

The share of persons not doing any leisure-time physical exercise has been falling somewhat from 1998. The share of those not engaged in leisure-time physical exercise among persons aged 20 to 64 was 25 per cent for men and 21 per cent for women in 2016.

When interpreting the results it should be noted that the sample size in the 2016 data collection was slightly smaller than in previous years. The small sample size is more susceptible to random variation, which can affect the results, especially in groups with low response activity (typically younger respondents and men).