EU Sport And Fitness Data

Posted by on Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A new report from the European Union (EU) reveals the participation rates of EU residents in sport.  60 percent of all EU occupants, or 27 million persons, take part in one sport like hiking, cycling, swimming, tennis or golf on occasion. Throughout the EU, there are 700,000 sport-specific clubs. These clubs have about 70 million members.

The most practiced sports are:

  • Swimming
  • Golf
  • Football
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis
  • Gymnastics
  • Basketball

More persons are engaged in the pursuit of sport than are engaged in social clubs. Individual fitness centre enrollment rivals that of private clubs. In the near future, fitness center enrollment will surpass private club membership.

How Often Do You Play?

49 percent of EU residents indulge in a sport at least once a month. There is room for improvement here. Only 38 percent play a sport once a week and a modest 17 percent participate in a sport activity three times per week.

The EU has a diverse number of nations that have very different areas of expertise in a wide number of sports. The Scandinavian countries have the most adamant sport enthusiasts. The Southern nations of the EU have the lowest participation rates. 62 percent more Finlanders play a sport compared than do residents of Portugal.

Sport Clubs Dominate Northwestern Europe

Northwestern Europe has the largest number of sport clubs. To the south, fitness centers and fitness clubs are more dominant than sport clubs. One statistic is undeniable. The higher a nation’s GDP, the more likely the nation is to have sport clubs.

Most EU sporting events are socially structured. Female, the elderly and immigrants are less likely to play sports. Additionally, education and income affects participation in sports. More educated individuals and individuals with higher income gravitate to sports. In some of the northern nations, the participation in sport between men and women is much more balanced than in the south.

Countries that sport participation appears to be stagnant are:

  • Finland
  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia

Growth in sport participation has occurred in:

  • The UK
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Italy

The UK’s successes at the Olympic Games underscore the popularity of sport in Britain. This success could lead to an even more positive exercise and sport participation in the next generation.

Most gratifying is the Europeans are pursuing fitness. In virtually every country, more people are enrolled in fitness centers than two years ago. This trend has excellent health benefits and makes for a more productive economy as well.

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