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Press release

Sports practice in Italy

In 2015, over 20 million people aged 3 and over practiced one or more sports continuously (24.4%) or occasionally (9.8%). The rate of those who practiced sports on the total population of 3 years and over was 34.3%.

Among men, 29.5% practiced sports continuously and 11.7% occasionally. For women the percentages were lower, respectively 19.6% and 8.1%.

Continued sports practice increased over time for both males and females and was widespread in all age classes. It passed from 15.9% in 1995 to 22.4% in 2010 and to 24.5% in 2015.

Sports practice was high among young people aged 11-14 years old (70.3%, 61% continuously and 9.3% occasionally) and showed the tendency to decrease with age.

The proportion of people practicing sports was highest in the North-east area of the country (40.4%), followed by North-west (39.5%), Centre (35.3%), South and Islands areas (26.2%).

The most popular sports were:
gymnastics, aerobics, fitness and physical education (25.2% of people who practices sports, 5 million 97 thousand people), football (23%, 4 million 642 thousand people) and water sports (21.1%, 4 million 265 thousand people). Swimming was the most common sport among children aged 3-10 years old (43.1%), football among young adults under 35 (33.6%), gymnastics, aerobics, fitness and physical culture among adults up to 59 years old and over 60 years old (27.4%).

26.5% of the population did not practice a sport but did physical activity, like long walking or cycling, gardening, etc. (15 million 640 thousand people).

Sedentary people, i.e. those who declared that they did not practice any sport or physical activity in leisure time, were over 23 million (39.1% of the population), this rate increased with age and almost half of elderly people aged 65 and over was sedentary.

Reference period: Year 2015

Date of Issue: 19 October 2017

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