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World’s laziest countries revealed by Stanford Uni study

 
  • Smartphone data from more than 700,000 people was collated by scientists
  • Hong Kong is deemed the fittest, with residents walking 6,880 steps each day
  • But those living in Indonesia appear to be the laziest, managing just 3,513 steps
  • By comparison, Britons walk 5,444 steps on a daily basis, less than 3 miles (5km)

Stephen Matthews For Mailonline

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If you’ve ever wondered which country leads the way in terms of staying fit each day, your queries have been answered.

Smartphone data from more than 700,000 people has been collated by scientists to show just how active different parts of the world are.

And residents of Hong Kong can proudly claim to be the fittest, walking an average of 6,880 steps each day – the equivalent to around three-and-a-half miles (6km).

But those living in Indonesia appear to be the laziest, managing just 3,513, according to Stanford University researchers.

By comparison, Britons walk 5,444 steps on a daily basis, less than three miles (5km), tipping their US counterparts who manage just 4,774.

Smartphone data from 700,000 people has been collated  to show how active different parts of the world are. Residents of Hong Kong can claim to be the fittest, walking an average of 6,880 steps each day. But those living in Indonesia appear to be the laziest, managing just 3,513

Smartphone data from 700,000 people has been collated  to show how active different parts of the world are. Residents of Hong Kong can claim to be the fittest, walking an average of 6,880 steps each day. But those living in Indonesia appear to be the laziest, managing just 3,513

Smartphone data from 700,000 people has been collated to show how active different parts of the world are. Residents of Hong Kong can claim to be the fittest, walking an average of 6,880 steps each day. But those living in Indonesia appear to be the laziest, managing just 3,513

Scott Delp, a professor of bioengineeering behind the findings, told the BBC: ‘The study is 1,000 times larger than any previous study on human movement.

‘There have been wonderful health surveys done, but our new study provides data from more countries, many more subjects, and tracks people’s activity on an ongoing basis.

‘This opens the door to new ways of doing science at a much larger scale than we have been able to do before.’ 

On average, the number of daily steps taken was 4,961 – two-and-a-half miles (4km), according to the research published in the journal Nature.

But many countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, also fell below the standard estimated amount. 

Experts say the overall findings, which delved into multiple factors such as ‘activity inequality’ and obesity rates in 46 countries, could help tackle bulging waistlines.

Contrary to popular belief, the main findings of average steps in each country had little impact on obesity levels. Instead, activity inequality - dubbed the vast difference between the active and the non-active - was a more accurate reflection

Contrary to popular belief, the main findings of average steps in each country had little impact on obesity levels. Instead, activity inequality - dubbed the vast difference between the active and the non-active - was a more accurate reflection

Contrary to popular belief, the main findings of average steps in each country had little impact on obesity levels. Instead, activity inequality – dubbed the vast difference between the active and the non-active – was a more accurate reflection

ANOTHER FINDING OF THE SAME STUDY

Well designed pedestrian friendly cities can help combat obesity, the Stanford University team also found.

By analysing the data from 69 cities in the researchers found that city design has health impacts.

The cities that were best designed for walking had a better rate of activity among all its citizens.

Jennifer Hicks, director of data science for the Mobilise Centre at Stanford, said: ‘Looking at three California cities in close geographic proximity – San Francisco, San Jose and Fremont – we determined that San Francisco had both the highest walkability score and the lowest level of activity inequality.

‘In cities that are more walkable everyone tends to take more daily steps, whether male or female, young or old, healthy weight or obese.’

Contrary to popular belief, the main findings of average steps in each country had little impact on obesity levels.

Instead, activity inequality – dubbed the vast difference between the active and the non-active – was a more accurate reflection.

The researchers told the BBC the bigger the gap between the two sets of people, the more obese people who lived in the country. 

Tim Althoff, a PhD candidate in computer science who was involved in the research, said: ‘For instance, Sweden had one of the smallest gaps between activity rich and activity poor… it also had one of the lowest rates of obesity.’

His claims were backed by the findings, which showed the US and Mexico to have similar average step counts – but stark differences in activity inequality and obesity levels.  

The findings were based on anonymous data from participants who used the Argus app on their phones, designed to track daily activity.  

REVEALED: THE FULL FINDINGS FROM THE STUDY OF MORE THAN 700,000 PARTICIPANTS

THE 46 COUNTRIES THAT WERE STUDIED AVERAGE AMOUNT OF STEPS TAKEN Hong Kong 6,880 China 6,189 Ukraine 6,107 Japan 6,010 Russia 5,969 Spain 5,936 Sweden 5,863 South Korea 5,755 Singapore 5,674 Switzerland 5,512 Czech Republic 5,508 UK 5,444 Italy 5,296 Ireland 5,293 Denmark 5,263 Hungary 5,258 Poland 5,249 Norway 5,246 Germany 5,205 Finland 5,204 Chile 5,204 France 5,141 Netherlands 5,110 Turkey 5,057 Israel 5,033 Taiwan 5,000 Belgium 4,978 Australia 4,941 Canada 4,819 US 4,774 Thailand 4,764 Romania 4,759 Portugal 4,744 Mexico 4,692 New Zealand 4,582 UAE 4,516 Greece 4,350 Egypt 4,315 India 4,297 Brazil 4,289 Qatar 4,158 South Africa 4,105 Phillipines 4,008 Malaysia 3,963 Saudi Arabia 3,807 Indonesia 3,513

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