Distribution of how often people exercise or play sport in the EU 2017, by employment

This statistic displays the results of a survey on the frequency with which individuals exercise or play sport in the European Union (EU) in 2017, characterised by employment. The survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews and gathered data from 28,031 respondents across Europe, in December 2017. Within this survey there is a clear distinction between the frequency with which individuals from different employment categories exercise or play sport. The employment categories that most frequently exercise or participate in sports are the students, with only 16 percent suggesting that they never participate. In contrast to this almost half of manual workers surveyed and 67 percent of ‘house persons’ never exercises or play sport.

Reasons for participation

The most frequently offered reason for participating in physical activity and sport include are to improve health and to improve fitness. Other popular reasons include relaxing, having fun and improving physical performance. Conversely the frequently offered reason for a lack of participation is a lack of time, an attribute that can be directly related to the distribution of participation shown in this statistic. More information about sports in Europe can be found in the Dossier: Fitness industry in Europe.

Distribution of frequencies of how often people exercise or play sport in the European Union (EU) in 2017, by employment

RegularlyWith some regularitySeldomNever
House persons5%18%10%67%
Other white collars4%40%19%37%
Manual workers6%29%16%49%
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Release date

March 2018



Survey time period

December 2017

Number of respondents

28,031 respondents

Age group

15 years and older

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

Exercise means any form of physical activity which one does in a sport context or sport-related setting, such as swimming, training in a fitness center or sport club, running in the park, etc.

Regularly: five times or more per week.
With some regularity: one to four times a week.
Seldom: three times a month or less often.

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Statistics on "Fitness industry in Europe "

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