Observatory Sport and physical activity Switzerland

Further information

A document (PDF) containing detailled information on all indicators is available in German.

Promotion of sport

"Promotion of sport and physical activity" is one of the Observatory's six indicator domains and includes eight groups of indicators.

Short information on the indicators in this domain is available by clicking on the indicators' names below. More complete information in German can be displayed by clicking on the links on the left hand side.

1.1 Physical activity in the adult population

According to the Federal Statistical Office's 2012 Swiss Health Survey (SES) about 11 % of the population are physically inactive, a further 17 % are moderately active and about 73 % exhibit a health-enhancing level of physical activity. This assessment is based on the physical activity recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous activities).

During the 1990s there was a sharp increase in the proportion of inactive people. This trend was stopped in the early 2000s, and there appears to have been a trend reversal during the past few years. Since 2002, the share of physically active persons has increased by ten per cent. However, there are still substantial social and regional differences in the level of physical activity.

1.2 Physical activity of children and teenagers

Due to the methodological differences in available studies it is difficult to assess the physical activity level of Swiss children and teenagers reliably.

However, Sport Switzerland 2014 and a number of accelerometer studies suggest that more than half of all Swiss childern are physically active more than one hour per day and thus comply with the current recommendations regarding physical activity for young persons.

1.3 Sports activity in the adult population

In the course of the past 30 years the proportion of persons engaging regularly in sport has increased permanently. Currently, more than half of the Swiss population claims to participate in sport two or more times per week. In an international persepective, Switzerland may well be one of the "most sportive" countries of the world.

At the same time, however, the proportion of persons never engaging in sport has been stable at 26 % of the population.

1.4 Sports activity of children and teenagers

It is important to know that Swiss children have a relatively restricted understanding of sport and usually associate it with "formal sports" in the setting of sport clubs or school sports. If one also takes into account sports activities such as cycling, playing football with friends or walking with one's parents, about three quarters of all children aged between 10 and 14 years participate in sport for at least three hours per week.

1.5 "Youth and Sport" (J+S) programme

J+S is the a central element of sport and talent promotion for young people in Switzerland. In 2012 roughly 420'000 kids and young adults have taken part in one or more sport courses offered by J+S (usually in the framework of an existing sports club). This figure corresponds to a coverage of about half of the Swiss population aged 10-20.

1.6 Physical activity opportunities for children and teenagers

Over the past few years a growing number of initiatives aimed at increasing the level of physical activity of children have been put into effect. The data bank "children-on-the-move" lists over 100 such projects, with "schule.bewegt" ("moving schools") being one of the most notable. In 2012/13 over 2500 classes took part in this project.

1.7 Physical fitness of young adults

Data for young adults come from questionnaires and fitness tests of men participating in the military recruitment procedure. Available data suggest that these men are physically slightly more active than the general population.

1.8 Physical activity opportunities for adults

In 2009, the programme "Adult Sport Swizterland" was initiated by the FOSPO to co-ordinate a number of activities aimed at persons over 20 years. Currently (i.e. as of 2014), the programme has 35 partner organisations.

In addition, Switzerland counts over 120 running events (including triathlons and marathons) with about 1000 and more participants that are open for "leisure runners". About 650'000 persons (including multiple participants) per year take part in these events.

Observatory Sport and physical activity Switzerland
c/o Lamprecht und Stamm SFB AG, Forchstrasse 212, CH-8032 Zürich
Phone: +41 44 260 67 60, E-Mail: info(at)sportobs.ch