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Ireland ranks in the middle in a new study of the world's laziest countries

The average number of steps worldwide per day was 4,961.

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US SCIENTISTS HAVE collected worldwide-scale data from smartphones to see how active each country is.

The Standford University research analyses 68 million days’ worth of minute-by-minute data of the average number of steps for 717,527 people.

The average number of steps worldwide per day was 4,961.

Hong Kong came top of the list with an average of 6,880 steps a day. Meanwhile, Indonesia was bottom of the rank with an average of just 3,513.

Country averages

The research doesn’t outline the exact average of steps taken in Ireland, however the colour coded map shows that steps taken here are on a similar level to the UK, which comes in at an average of 5,444 steps.

The only countries with exact figures were as follows:

  • Hong Kong – 6,189
  • Japan – 6,010
  • Spain – 5,936
  • UK – 5,444
  • Brazil – 4,289
  • United Arab Emirates – 4,516

Most smartphones have a built-in accelerometer that records steps. The researchers collected this anonymous data, from the Argus activity monitoring app, to establish the results.

City landscapes

The study, published in the Nature journal, gives an insight into how countries can improve people’s health.

Researchers found that “inequality” in how activity differs within countries is more important than that of obesity levels.

For example, it found that aspects of the built environment, such as the accessibility of walking in cities, has an impact on the results.

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“In more walkable cities, activity is greater throughout the day and throughout the week, across age, gender, and body mass index (BMI),” the study wrote.

Our findings have implications for global public health policy and urban planning. [It] highlights the role of activity inequality and the built environment in improving physical activity and health.

It found that the bigger the activity inequality in countries, the higher the rates of obesity.

For example, the US and Mexico were both found to have similar average steps, but the US has higher activity inequality and obesity levels.

Gender gaps

Activity inequality differs greatly between men and women, according to the research.

In countries with high inequality, like the US, women were found to spend less time being active.

However, in Japan, with low inequality and obesity levels, men and women exercise in similar amounts.

Read: Irish Human Rights Commission worried new hubs could ‘normalise’ family homelessness

More: 92 babies suffering from drug withdrawal recorded in Irish hospitals last year

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