Revealed: The most and least active countries in the world

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A huge study using data from people’s smartphones has identified both the laziest and the most active countries in the world.

Scientists at Stanford University in the US looked at 68 million days’ worth of steps from more than 700,000 people using a special app.

Hong Kong had the highest number of average daily steps with 6,880, eclipsing the global average of 4,961.

At the other end of the rankings was Indonesia, where researchers recorded just 3,513 steps on average per day.

The most active countries

(Based on average steps per day)

Hong Kong 6,880

China 6,189

Ukraine 6,107

Japan 6,010

Russia 5,969

Scott Delp, a professor of bioengineering and one of the researchers, told the BBC: “The study is 1,000 times larger than any previous study on human movement.

“There have been wonderful health surveys done, but our new study provides data from more countries, many more subjects, and tracks people’s activity on an ongoing basis.

“This opens the door to new ways of doing science at a much larger scale than we have been able to do before.”

The least active countries

Indonesia 3,513

Saudi Arabia 3,807

Malaysia 3,963

Phillipines 4,008

South Africa 4,105

The study, published in the journal Nature, found that countries with a bigger difference between the fittest and the laziest also had higher rates of obesity.

Tim Althoff, another researcher, said: “For instance, Sweden had one of the smallest gaps between activity rich and activity poor… it also had one of the lowest rates of obesity.”

The UK was above average, with 5,444 steps per day.

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