The World’s Most And Least Ac­tive Coun­tries


Us­ing peo­ple’s smart­phones, sci­en­tists at Stan­ford Univer­sity have col­lected data on a “plan­e­tary-scale” in or­der to de­ter­mine how ac­tive we re­ally are. Japan’s Min­istry of Health, Labour and Wel­fare rec­om­mends a per­son walk 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day while the UK’s Na­tional Obe­sity Fo­rum would con­sider some­body walk­ing 7,000 to 10,000 steps mod­er­ately ac­tive.

Stan­ford’s sci­en­tists an­a­lyzed 68 mil­lion days’ worth of data, find­ing that the av­er­age num­ber of steps taken around the globe was 4,961, far short of the rec­om­men­da­tions above. Hong Kong came first over­all, av­er­ag­ing 6,880 steps a day while In­done­sia came last, av­er­ag­ing just 3,513.

The in­fo­graphic be­low pro­vides an overview of some of the ma­jor coun­tries in­cluded in the re­search, with Chi­nese peo­ple tak­ing an av­er­age of 6,189 steps a day, slightly ahead of Japan’s 6,019. Amer­i­cans tend to be far less ac­tive, only manag­ing an av­er­age of 4,774. That’s still just ahead of In­dia where the step count comes to 4,297. Most smart­phones have an ac­celerom­e­ter that can record steps and the sci­en­tists col­lected data from 700,000 peo­ple who used the Ar­gus ac­tiv­ity-mon­i­tor­ing app.

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