Norwegians exercise more than before


Four out of five Norwegians exercise at least once a week. This represents an increase of nearly 20 percentage points over the past 15 years. The level of activity has increased most among the elderly.

According to the Survey on living conditions 2016, 83 per cent of the population aged 16 or older report exercising at least once a week. This level is stable since the survey in 2013. Compared to earlier surveys, however, the level of physical activity in the population has clearly increased. In 2001, 66 per cent exercised on a weekly basis, while this percentage was 73 in 2004 and 2007.

Five per cent never exercise
Only five per cent never engage in any form of exercise or sports activities. These results are in line with the Survey on health, which finds that the lifestyle habits of the Norwegian population are improving.

Young people are more active than the elderly…
As before, young people have a higher activity level than older people. While more than 80 per cent of persons aged 16-66 years exercise every week, the corresponding percentage among persons over 66 is 75 per cent. In the age groups between 16 and 66 years, 2-5 per cent never exercise, and the corresponding figure for the oldest age group is 12 per cent.

… but the elderly are more active than before
At the same time, the activity level of the elderly has increased over time among both men and women. The share of women aged 67 years or over that exercises on a weekly basis increased from 51 per cent in 2001 to 73 per cent in 2016. Among men in this age group the percentage that exercises every week increased from 61 to 77 per cent. In 2001, 26 per cent of persons 67 years or older reported never exercising, which is more than twice as many as in 2016.

The most common exercise activity in the age group 67 years or older is fast walking: More than 60 per cent have done this in the past year. Some elderly people also engage in activities such as cycling, cross-country skiing and strength training. Approximately 15 per cent participated in each of these activities. Contact sports and high-intensity training, such as ball sports, combat sports and jogging are less common among the elderly.


Source: SSB / Norway Today