45 Countries That Are More Sedentary Than the United States

More

Just over 40 percent of Americans don't get enough exercise. But that's still far better than some countries.

athletics-615.jpg(Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

With over a third of us now considered obese, you'd think Americans would top the charts for sedentary lifestyle and inactivity. But you'd be wrong. In fact, that honor goes to the Republic of Malta, where 72 percent of the population doesn't get enough exercise.

That's according to a new report published today in The Lancet that measured physical activity in 119 countries. Researchers set the threshold for exercise at 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week. Those who engaged in more vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes three times a week also made the cut. Then the study's authors combed through the literature on exercise intervention in various countries to assemble the data. 

The United States actually does pretty well -- it ranks 46th on the vegetable ladder -- with 41 percent of Americans doing less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. About a third of males are physically inactive, compared to 47.4 percent of women -- a difference of almost 14 points.

After Malta, the next five countries include Swaziland (69 percent inactive), Saudi Arabia (68.8 percent), Serbia (68.3 percent), Argentina (68.3 percent), and Micronesia (66.3 percent).

The Guardian has compiled all the data into an interactive chart (it doesn't seem to let you sort the results by country in order of inactivity, though, so click here for that): 

Jump to comments
Presented by

Brian Fung is the technology writer at National Journal. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and has written for Foreign Policy and The Washington Post.

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

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


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

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In