The Road to a Healthier South Africa report exposes Bloemfontein as being home to the laziest people in the country, revealing that residents are on average 35% less likely to go to the gym, go for a walk or run or just partake in an outdoor activity than people from Cape Town.
Capetonians were also found to be the most active people in the country, with residents participating in just under 1,1 million outdoor activities – comprising of race events including running, swimming, cycling, canoeing, paddling, obstacle course races and park runs – over the year.
Joburgers came in a close second as far as being active is concerned, completing over 1 million outdoor activities for the year, followed by Durban, whose residents recorded competing in 834 655 race events for the year.
Durbanites were also more likely to go to the gym over people from the City of Gold and Pretoria.
The data also reveals that women over the age of 66 are the most inactive, while men aged between 26-35 exercise the most.
Local research conducted by scientists from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Wits University, as well as researchers from Denmark and England, have found that South African children are getting fatter at an alarming rate.
The obesity rate among children doubled over a period of just six years, highlighting the need for our society to get more active.
Dr David Jankelow, the President-elect of the South African Heart Association, says disruptors in the technology space will be key in encouraging more South Africans to get active.
“Exercise is a surprisingly simple antidote to the global tsunami of lifestyle-related illnesses. It may in fact be more important than medicines when it comes to preventing and sustaining good health,” Jankelow warns.
“I strongly believe in the prescription of physical activity and encourage all South Africans to get moving – even small steps will have a big impact on health outcomes.”