South Africa among the fittest countries in the world

Sports and fitness tracker FitBit has released its list of the fittest countries in the world for 2017, ranking South Africa 29th out of 65 countries.

The ranking is based on data collected from 23.2 million Fitbit users across the globe.

The analysis is a representative sample of 2016 data from more than 10 million users in the United States and at least 10 thousand users in each international country.

FitBit devices track and analyze your daily activity, including exercise, heart rate and sleep, and using this data Fitbit was able to look at a range of behaviors, examining average daily steps, active minutes, Reminders to Move goals met, resting heart rate and duration of sleep.

All of these factors were considered in ranking the fittest countries, the group said.

Ireland was ranked as the fittest country in the world, followed by the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The FitBit data does not track fitness of the population as a whole, only those who subscribe to certain type of lifestyle.

Notably, South Africa was ranked 29th, just under the United States – both of which are considered to also be the countries with some of the worst obesity rates in the world, according to the WHO.

Other interesting facts to come from the study:

  • Spain gets the most steps per day, with an average of 9,023. Other top steppers include Switzerland, Hong Kong, Sweden, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Australia and Japan.
  • The top 10 countries clocking the most sleep include the United Kingdom, with an average of 7 hours and 15 minutes per night, followed by the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, in order.
  • Spain, Sweden, Hong Kong, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ireland and Japan all exceed the World Health Organization recommendations for averaging at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense aerobic physical activity per week, with a range of 27.9 to 22.3 active minutes per day.
  • The top 10 countries that move the most throughout the day are Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Sweden, in order.

Read: The quality of South Africa’s healthcare vs the world

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South Africa among the fittest countries in the world