Have you ever thought about which are the laziest countries in the world? Well, we have!
When we started thinking about this topic, an inevitable question popped up – what makes one country lazy? Is it the time people spend on their holidays? Definitely not! But, if you want to know which holidays are celebrated around the world, check out our piece about countries that have the most public holidays in the world. Is it measured by the time people work? Again no, but we also wrote about that topic in 11 Countries Where People Work the Least. Some think that among the top dumbest countries in the world, laziest countries have their place. They are probably assuming that if there is no motivation and enthusiasm to study and work, people will stay uneducated and ignorant. Moreover, there are opinions that the laziest people are, the dirtiest is their country. However, we didn’t make any of these correlations. The same is with the question of the laziest race in the world. What we found as the most appropriate answer to what makes one country lazy is the physical activity of its population. This sounded scary in the beginning as we had absolutely no idea how to gather information about the physical activity or let’s better say inactivity of one nation. Luckily, people are nowadays interested in almost every topic that can come to mind. Therefore, by doing our research we found one very interesting study done by a group of scientists from the Stanford University in the US. Here is what they did.
If you are a runner, or into sports, in general, you are most probably familiar with the phone apps that count your steps such as Pedometer and Runkeeper. Stanford researchers tracked the smartphones of 717,000 people who are using these applications in 111 countries, what made this study the largest one ever made regarding human movement. They collected data for 68 million days and the crucial finding was that the average number of daily steps was 4,961. The main aim of this study was to contribute with these findings to the global fight against obesity. According to their research, first, among the most active countries, is Hong Kong with an average number of 6,880 steps per day.
Nowadays, inactivity causes between 6% and 10% of four major diseases – coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and breast and colon cancer, according to the Lancet. Moreover, in 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight out of which over 600 million were obese, according to World Health Organization. Even though it seems logical that obesity is closely related to human activity, Stanford research didn’t find the strong link between the number of people’s steps and obesity level. What the results showed more clearly is the so-called “active inequality” – difference between the country’s fittest and laziest people. What was also interesting is that study shows that men walk more than women.
In order to make our list of laziest countries, we managed to find another research that deals with the same issue. Lancet analyzed human activity and its effect on major noncommunicable (chronic) diseases. Their results are expressed as the percentage of inactivity of both women and men worldwide. So, we compared and overlapped the results of Stanford study on steps and The Guardian‘s summary of data obtained from Lancet study and got the list of most inactive countries. Furthermore, we created our own index, the so-called inactivity index, that represents the combination of the average number of steps from the first study and percentage of inactive people from the second one. The final ranking was made according to that. As you will see the laziest country in Europe is far from being high on this list in contrast to the Asian countries. Considering that the US is not on our list, we just wanted to mention that Americans in average make 4,774 steps a day and 40.5% of people in the country are inactive. Now, let’s check out our list of the laziest countries in the world.