People who take physical exercise regularly are not only in better health but are also more careful about their health and feel better in general. Sport and physical activity have a preventive effect on cardiovascular disorders, can halt the development of diabetes, back-ache and breast or intestinal cancer as well as having a positive effect on mood and quality of life. Furthermore, a lack of exercise during leisure time is a missed opportunity for social integration.
In 2017, the rate of people who had no regular physical activity in their leisure time was 8% for Switzerland as a whole. The population from the first generation had a rate of 12%, whereas the second generation and the population without a migration background had significantly lower rates (8% and 7%).
The rate of people who took no regular physical exercise during their leisure time was higher among people with a migration background than among those with no migration background in all major regions. These differences, however, are only statistically significant in the Lake Geneva region, in the Espace Mittelland, in Northwest Switzerland and in Zurich. The widest gap by migration status is found in Northwest Switzerland (ratio of 1: 1.7).
“Inactive” individuals with regards physical activity during leisure time, i.e. taking under 30 minutes per week of moderate physical exercise and intense physical exercise less than once per week (2013 definition). This definition refers to the recommendations made in 2013 by the Federal Office for Sport (FOSPO) and the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).