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11 Laziest Countries in Europe

In this article, you are going to find out what the laziest countries in Europe are.

To be honest, even the laziest person alive would not want to hear that they are lazy. Therefore, if you find your country on the list, please understand that we are doing this because we care. We are not here to point fingers, neither are we going to fuel stereotypical debates. We are doing this to raise awareness. Laziness is the silent killer of the modern society, and physical inactivity is the main cause of a number of fatal diseases, such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and breast and colon cancer. So what is laziness you ask? Well, we are not saying that laziness is utter and total lack of productivity because some of the countries that made it into the list are developed countries. By laziness, we mean that people in those countries are not getting enough physical exercise. In this article, we will only focus on Europe, although we have done a couple of similar articles recently. So, check out 13 Laziest Countries in The World if you want to learn about the laziest country in the world 2017, and 10 Laziest Countries in Africa to find out what is the laziest country in Africa.

In stark contrast, to learn about hardest working countries, check out 15 Hardest Working Countries in the World Ranked by Average Working Hours. In this article, we will talk about the laziest countries in Europe, not from the perspective of productivity but rather from the perspective of physical inactivity. A person can be productive and lazy at the same time. A person can work hard on a computer whole day and make a lot of money, but in the end, that same person was physically inactive for a whole day, thus being subjected to its negative effects. So basically, the countries in the list do not have the laziest workers in the world, but rather a large portion of their population is physically inactive. Obesity is one of the major side effects of being physically inactive since it brings a lot of health-related complications and it is socially undesirable. Being physically inactive also affect the organs adversely and as mentioned above can cause fatal diseases.

While digging for information, we stumbled upon quite a few interesting studies. One of them is done by researchers at Stanford University, who calculated average steps taken by an individual during a single day with the help of smartphone application. You can read more about it on Stanford‘s website. Another interesting study we found was about a general threshold of physical exercise that everyone must exceed during the week in order to keep fit. It is based on a survey that showed the percentage of people (adults only) who do not cross this threshold (as The Guardian puts it, “walking briskly for 30 minutes or more, five times a week or taking more vigorous exercise for 20 minutes three times a week”) in different countries. You can read more about that on The Guardian‘s website. There you can check out rankings of top 50 laziest countries in the world, as well. We based our ranking on the findings of these studies. The more physically inactive the population of a certain country is, the higher we have placed it on the list.

Without further ado, let’s get the list of 11 laziest countries in Europe started.

11. Sweden

Inactive adults rate: 44.2%

We are starting off our list with the Scandinavian nation of Sweden. Sweden is definitely one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. However, as  you can see from the stats more than 44.2% of adults do not get enough exercise during the week. If you happen to know someone from Sweden, do not forget to tell them to get more exercise.

10. Luxembourg

Inactive adults rate: 47.7%

Luxembourg is the perfect example that being inactive is not the same as being unproductive. Luxembourg is one of the most richest countries in the world, and yet over 47% of adults in Luxembourg do not get enough physical exercise. However, this means that a large portion of the adult population in the country is at risk of contracting serious illnesses that can stem from physical inactivity.

9. Spain

Inactive adults rate: 50.2%

Next up we have Spain. Spain is the first country in the list where more than half the adult population is inactive during the week. Which is really a shame to be honest. As you can imagine, things are going to get much worse from here on end and we are basically just starting the list.

Laziest Countries in Europe

Monkey Business Images/

8. Portugal

Inactive adults rate: 51%

In Portugal 51% of the total adult population can be considered as physically inactive. They do not get enough exercise nor they walk enough during the week. In Portugal it seems that women are more inactive than the male population, as over 54% of women are inactive as oppose to 47.5% of males.

7. Ireland

Inactive adults rate: 53.2%

In Ireland, the rate of inactivity reaches even higher. An estimated 53.2% of the total adult population of Ireland remains inactive during the better part of the week. The average steps taken per day by adults in Ireland is 5,293. Which is definitely not ideal, as in Hong Kong people take around 6,880 steps everyday on average.

6. Italy

Inactive adults rate: 54.7%

We are halfway through our list of laziest countries in Europe and at number 6 we have Italy. Italians tend to take about 5,296 steps per day on average, which is quite similar to our previous entry in the list. You can certainly see a pattern emerging here, and both independent researches tend to indicate similar results.

Laziest Countries in Europe

Joshua Resnick/

5. Cyprus

Inactive adults rate: 55.4%

At number 5 on our list of laziest countries in Europe, we have Cyprus. Although Cyprus is sometimes seen as an Asian or even Mideastern country, historically and culturally is the European country. Anyway, Cyprus has an adult inactivity rating of 55.4%, where women inactivity rate is 62.6% as opposed to 48.1% for men.

4. Turkey

Inactive adults rate: 56%

Turkey is a country located on two continents, Europe and Asia (Minor). So, we can’t find the info for that 15% of the population of Turkey that lives in Europe side of Turkey. However, 56% of adults in the whole country just do not get enough exercise during a regular week.

3. United Kingdom

Inactive adults rate: 63.3%

Next up on our list of laziest countries in Europe, we have the United Kingdom, and for good reasons. As you can see from the stats, about 63.3% of adults in United Kingdom remain inactive through the better part of the week. Again a closer inspection of the data revels that women are more prone to inactivity compared to men in the UK.

Laziest Countries in Europe

Olga Osadchaya/

2. Serbia

Inactive adults rate: 68.3%

The second spot in our list goes to Serbia with over 68% of the adult population of the country being rather physically inactive. Which means they do not take brisk 30 minutes walks 5 times a week or participate in heavy exercise sessions at least three times a week.

1. Malta

Inactive adults rate: 71.9%

The top spot on our list goes to Malta, where about 72% of the entire adult population remains inactive through the week. It seems that this is the country with laziest population. This is really something to be cautious about. If we break down the stats a bit further, we see that about 70.7% of the male population and 73.1% of the female population do not get he required level of exercise to keep fit.

Laziest Countries in Europe

Africa Studio/

This wraps it up for our list of 11 Laziest Countries in Europe.