They ranked the world’s laziest countries. So guess where India falls

A new study from scientists at the University of Stanford has analysed 68 million days’ worth of minute-by-minute data to calculate how different countries rank in terms of activeness. Using data from people’s smartphones, the figures ranked nations according to how many steps individuals took each day, the BBC has reported.

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Hong Kong was top of the list, averaging 6,880 steps a day, compared with the global average, which sat at 4,961. In last place was Indonesia, which saw individuals walking just 3,513 steps each day. Meanwhile, Brits hit an average of 5,444 while Indians were hovering around 4,000 steps. 

The findings, which were published in the journal Nature, also highlighted some important insights for how we can improve people’s health.

When it came to obesity levels, the actual average number of steps people took did not seem to correlate directly. However, the “activity inequality” seemed to make the difference. Basically, the bigger the difference was between the fittest and the laziest people in the country, the higher obesity rates were likely to be.


“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,” researcher Tim Althoff explained. This could be compared with Mexico and the United States, which had similar step averages to one another. However, the US had a greater disparity between the most and least active in the country and also had higher obesity rates.

The results also helped pinpoint cities which has better “walkability” and therefore a higher step average, which can now be used to help in future town and city planning.


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