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10 interesting surveys on health promotion

What are the most popular sports in Germany and why 25% don’t do any kind of sports? We got to the bottom of this question and compiled the results of various surveys for you.  

Sport is part of everyday life for many of us. Sport not only makes us more resistant to disease. Sport also helps us to reduce the daily stress and thus represents an important factor for a  consicous life. Occupational health promotion should therefore always keep in mind the sports activities of the employees. The more diverse the offer, the more likely the long-term participation. Because sport should be first and foremost – fun.

We have compiled a couple of surveys and stats and provide some insights on the active behavior in Germany. We also look at why at least 25% of Germans don’t do any kind of sport. What are the main motives and what is the general attitude towards exercise, sport and health among employees?

Let’s start with the most popular sports

  • 27.1% Cycling
  • 14.1% Gymnastic
  • 10.8% Swimming
  • 9.1% Strength training in the gym
  • 9.0% Jogging
  • 6.7% Nordic Walking
  • 3.2% Winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and co.
  • 2.8% Basketball, handball
  • 2.3% Tennis, badminton, squash
  • 1.9% Football
    Source Statista, 35,000 respondents

Main reasons for why I don’t do sport

  • 72% listlessness (among the 18-29 year olds)
  • 47% lack of time (for high-income respondents)
  • 33% disease (among the 60-65 year olds)
  • 32% injuries (in men of all ages)
    Source Splendid Research 2017

While the younger are more likely to sweat for an attractive appearance, the older ones are more likely to do sports to benefit their health. After all, 40% can be motivated to do regular excerise.

Main Reasons why men do sports

  • 64% to make me feel good
  • 52% to relieve stress
  • 47% to have fun
    Source Splendid Research 2017

Main Reasons why women do sports

  • 64% to make me feel good
  • 46% to relieve stress
  • 44% to lose weight
    Source Splendid Research 2017

How fit are we in Germany?

  • 19% train more than 6 hours a week
  • 59% move less than 2 hours a week or not at all

How far do people walk on a daily basis, now and then?

  • 30-40 kms, Stone Age man
  • 14 kms postman
  • 7 kms recommended movement by the WHO (10,000 steps target)
  • 4 kms seller
  • 2.1 kms manager / office worker
  • 0.98 kms graphic designer
  • 0.84 kms receptionist
    * Kilometers per day. Starting from an average stride length of 0.7 meters per step
    Source: Federal Ministry of Health

Estimate their health as “very good” or “good”

  • 72% men
  • 69% women
    Source: Robert Koch Institute

Mental health in numbers

Unequally weighted mental health

The emotional burden on Germans is strikingly unequally weighted between women and men. The percentage of people across all age groups who feel emotionally burdened.

  • 13% women
  • 8% men

In the group of 18-29 years old this becomes even clearer.

  • 15% women
  • 6% men
    Source: Robert Koch Institute

Chronic diseases

There is also a difference between men and women in chronic diseases. Thus, significantly more women than men feel affected.

  • 43% of women
  • 38% of men
    Source: Robert Koch Institute

Exercise also helps with mental problems

People whose daily sitting time is more than seven hours and who don’t do any kind of exercise have a threefold higher risk of developing depression. Because exercise helps to reduce stress hormones and clears the mind. A study from North Carolina Duke University shows that physical activity can help reduce symptoms of depression by 82%. If that’s no reason to leave the car at home more often, and bike to work or do some sports. Maybe we can inspire you today to get off the metro one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. It’s always worth it.


There is a big leeway for every single one of us to reduce our own health risk through our behaviour. Everyone can postpone their own ageing. Research shows the most important behaviours for a healthy and happy life.

  • quit smoking
  • eat rich in vitamins
  • eat less
  • do sports regularly
  • avoid excessive stress
  • spend time with friends and family

And above all, one thing extends life — knowledge. Never stop learning. The researchers of the Max Planck Society have long been aware, that a good education is one of the most important factors for a low premature mortality rate. A great reason to be interested in your own health, to build up your knowledge — at any age.
Source: Max Planck Society

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