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Majority in Finland exercise regularly - but 20% don't at all

The most popular physical activities included cycling and jogging - but walking and going to the gym topped the list.

Ihmiset pötköttelevät lattialla rentoutuneena.
File photo of three people practising yoga. Image: Jani Saikko / Yle
Yle News

The vast majority of Finnish residents responding to a survey said they are regularly physically active, according to a fresh survey on exercise habits.

However, the remainder - about 20 percent - said they haven't gotten any exercise at all in the past year.

Results of a study published last summer found that on average, adults in Finland spend nearly nine waking hours each day either sitting or lying down, and kids are sedentary about eight hours a day.

The survey - commissioned by the Research Institute for Olympic Sports (Kihu), Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health (Likes) and the University of Jyväskylä - queried more than 3,200 residents between the ages of 15-74 about their activity levels.

The survey found that walking was the most popular, while 82 percent of respondents said they work out regularly or set aside time to take part in outdoor activities.

Working out at the gym was the second-most common way people said they stay active.

Yoga for women, e-sports for men

In addition to walking and going to the gym, other popular forms of exercise included cycling, swimming, skiing and jogging.

There were differences between men and women in terms of the types of activities they pursue, however.

Female respondents commonly said they participate in group activities like yoga and dance classes, while males said they preferred team sports and were more likely to be members of sporting clubs.

Around 40 percent said they would like to try out new activities, for example women said they're curious about yoga while men often said they'd like to try e-sports.

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