Call it breach of privacy, or a random surprising study, but, the US scientists have amassed anonymous accelerometer data from 700,000 people’s smartphones who used the Argus activity monitoring app to give a verdict on the laziest country on the planet. Yes, a study was conducted to do so!
The Stanford University researchers went through an analysis of data for 68 million days to come up with a global daily steps average of 4,961.
Hong Kong topped the average with 6,880 steps a day, while Indonesia stood last with just 3,513 steps.
Here’s the breakdown of the most active and laziest countries in the world,
Researcher Scott Delp, a professor of bio-engineering, said:
“The study is 1,000 times larger than any previous study on human movement. “There have been wonderful health surveys done, but our new study provides data from more countries, many more subjects, and tracks people’s activity on an ongoing basis.
“This opens the door to new ways of doing science at a much larger scale than we have been able to do before.”
The findings were published in the journal Nature, and the study gives important insights on improving people’s health and facts on obesity.
The average number of steps for a country directly associates with obesity levels, with “activity inequality” being the culprit of higher obesity in a country.
This means that if there is a higher difference between the fittest and the laziest in a certain country, the higher the rate of obesity is recorded.
Tim Althoff, one of the researchers, said:
“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.”
Mexico and US have similar average steps, but due to higher activity inequality in the US, they also have higher obesity levels.
The activity inequality also presented a difference between men and women in many countries. While places like Japan had low obesity and low inequality since men and women exercised on a rate, countries like the US and Saudi Arabia had more obese women due to higher activity inequality.
These obesity levels are also related to the walking ability of a certain area:
Jure Leskovec, another researcher, said:
“When activity inequality is greatest, women’s activity is reduced much more dramatically than men’s activity, and thus the negative connections to obesity can affect women more greatly.”
Scientists hope the research will help pave the way for explaining and tackling the menace of obesity. Share your views about this surprising study in the comments section below.