A Graph of the Laziest Countries in the World (Hooray! We're Not #1)

More

Congratulations, Maltese women: You are the world's most physically inactive demographic! Take a bow. Better yet, take a walk.

From country-to-country, inactivity rises with age, is higher in women than in men, and rises in higher-income countries, according to a new study on idleness in The Lancet. Here's a map of the world's sloth, via The Economist. Countries in darker colors had greater recorded inactivity, defined as failing to reach 30 minutes of moderate activity a day.



Inactivity might rise with income, but some of the world's most inactive groups are women in countries with barriers to female employment, such as Libya and Saudi Arabia. Among men, Great Britain and Japan are reportedly among the most slothful countries in the world, but Europe collectively reported walking more than any other group in the study.

What about America, the alleged king of couch potatoes? The survey found a surprising degree of bustle in the typical American's life. Six in ten Americans were deemed "active," compared with fewer than five in ten Brazilian men, four in ten Japanese, and three in ten Argentinians. We're still a far way from Benin, Bangladesh, Mozambique, and Mongolia, where more than 90 percent of men got at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In