One-third of Indians Choose Technology Over Physical Activity, Study
Virat Kohli and sportswear brand PUMA commissioned a pan-india study with market research agency Kantar IMRB to understand the current state of physical activity and sports adoption in the country. The study also assesses the barriers to playing sport regularly. Additionally, it highlights that the biggest motivation for adopting play is the sheer joy it brings and how it can effortlessly be included in everyday life.
Findings show that 1/3rd of the total population surveyed had not done any physical activity even once in the last 1 year. Physical activity here included any activity at home/outdoors/gyms/fitness centers such as running/walking/zumba/yoga/swimming etc. as well as sports such as cricket, football, badminton, tennis, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, hockey, squash and local games such as kabaddi, kho-kho etc.
It also found at that 57% of the respondents have not played any sport for the last one year. 3/4th of this group last played a sport only in school or college. While 70% of the respondents between 18-21 years had played a sport at least once in the last 1 year, this figure dropped drastically as individuals progressed in their occupations, and reduced to just 26% in the age bracket of 36-40 years.
The report also said that 58% of those who don’t play any sport cited ‘Lack of time’ as the main reason. However, the research brought out that the same respondents also spent close to 4-5 hours on social media, watching TV, personal phone conversations and usage of various messaging platforms on a typical working day (all put together).
In fact, the average frequency of uploading content on one’s social media handles was found to be 9 times in a month. Additionally, the average number of working hours for those who don’t play was found to be lesser than those who do (4.8 hours vs 5.4 hours).
Interestingly, 81% of those who do play said they did so simply because they ‘enjoyed playing’. Other reasons for playing sport include ‘keeping fit’ and ‘relief from stress’. 76% percent of those who play stated that they play in any open spaces that they find near their homes and 65% play with neighbors. Both clearly showing that lack of infrastructure or unavailability of people to play with were not barriers to play.
Goa topped the list with 89% of the respondents playing a sport at least once in the last 1 month.this was followed by Hyderabad and Mumbai. Gurgaon, Raipur and Patna rated low on this index with only 18%, 15% and 12% of the respondents from these cities playing at least once in the last 1 month.
Responding to the findings Virat Kohli said, “It is shocking to see that one-third of the country has not done any kind of physical activity in the last one year. When you are physically fit, you are more energized to take on challenges. I have experienced this personally, and therefore strongly believe in leading an active lifestyle. Technology and social media is gaining preference over health and fitness in our lives. This needs to change. Sports can be seamlessly integrated into our daily life – one can do it anywhere and at any time. Hence, I urge everyone to come out and play. It’s fun, relieves stress and helps us stay fit.”
Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, PUMA India said, “The study brings out alarming facts about India’s adoption of physical activity. It is essential to take corrective steps to address this situation. Playing sports is a simple yet effective solution that can be implemented into everyday life.”
He further added, “Our endeavour has always been to encourage and promote an active lifestyle in the country. It is Virat Kohli’s personal mission to inspire India to get fitter, and we are delighted to partner with him in this journey.”
The survey covered 3924 respondents from the age bracket of 18-40 years (both male and female). The respondents were spread across 18 cities - Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Cochin, Ghaziabad, Goa, Gurugram, Guwahati, Jaipur, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Patna, Raipur, and Surat.