Staggering Majority of Bulgarians Avoid Fitness, Sports

Health | November 22, 2011, Tuesday // 15:09|  views

Heavy smoking continues to be a major problem in Bulgaria. File photo

Only 6% of all Bulgarians in employment age (18-65) are actively engaged in fitness and sports, according to a study of the country's Ministry of Sports and Youth.

In years past, this percentage has been as high as 45%.

The study is titled "It Is Never Late for a New Beginning," and is part of the Ministry's program to spark interest in sports activity. The institution plans to provide hours for free fitness and sports at 28 facilities across the country, whose list will be published online next week.

The poll involved 802 individuals in employment age – 72% of them reported feeling tired at work; 39% work sitting at a desk, while 68% were affected by stress. They walk an average of 40-50 minutes a day or 3.7 km, but half say they spent their free time passively.

Smoking, alcohol drinking, and the use of too much salt are serious problems, the study found. 34% of the respondents were overweight; 21% - obese and 2% severely obese.

Those polled were subject to several tests, one of which was to run 50 meters – the average result was about 13 seconds, which is twice higher than what is considered normal for a healthy person.

This is the second such poll of the program.

The Ministry is expected to absorb BGN 3.4 M in European funding with half of them already spent and about BGN 200 000 registered as savings. All funding is used for the information campaign and rent of the 28 facilities.

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Tags: fitness, sports, Minitstry of Sports and Youth, smoking, alcohol, salt, overwieght, obese


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