Australia among the top 20 laziest countries

Australia is among the laziest countries in the world. Picture: Tim Althoff
Australia is among the laziest countries in the world. Picture: Tim Althoff

THOSE living in Australia and the US are among some of the laziest in the world, a new study has revealed.

Stanford University researchers collected smartphone data from more than 700,000 people across the globe to measure the amount of steps they took to discover who among us are the lazy ones and who are more active.

The study, published in the Nature journal, found Indonesia was the least active country with the population walking an average of 3513 steps a day.

Australia ranked 19th most laziest, with people walking 4941 a day.

The US was marginally worse, coming in at 17th with an average of 4774 steps are walked each day.

Saudi Arabia came in second, followed by Malaysia and the Philippines.



Hong Kong was rated the most active country, with the population walking an average of almost 7000 steps a day, about six kilometres. China was a close second with an average of 6189 steps walked a day, followed by Ukraine, Japan, Russia, Spain and Sweden.

The UK is the 12th most active country in the world, with the population walking an average of five kilometres a day.

The study found the average amount of steps a day in the world is almost 5000, equivalent to about four kilometres, but Australia, Canada, America and New Zealand all fall below the world average.

Researchers hope the study will help improve activity inequality and obesity rates in countries around the world.

Activity inequality refers to the difference in steps between the fittest and laziest people in the same country.

A country with a bigger gap between the fittest and laziest, meant the country had a higher rate of obesity. The study said those who were obese worried less about the average number of steps they did a day.

"If you think about some people in a country as 'activity rich' and others as 'activity poor', the size of the gap between them is a strong indicator of obesity levels in that society," researcher Tim Althoff 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."

Despite the US and Mexico having a similar average number of steps, the US had a higher gap between the country's fittest and laziest.

There's also an activity inequality between men and women and in the lazier countries, women were taking less steps than men.

The research found in fitter countries like Japan, men and women walked about the same amount of steps a day.

Jure Leskovec, a member of the research team at Stanford University, said "when activity inequality is greatest, women's activity is reduced much more dramatically than men's activity, and thus the negative connections to obesity can affect women more greatly".

Topics:  australia offbeat

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