Nearly 30 percent of Saudi residents exercise for 150 minutes a week

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WHO said adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. (AFP)
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  • Only 20 percent of residents exercised in 2019, according to the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).
  • 48.2 percent of the resident population practice activity for at least 30 minutes per week, an increase of 3.2 points compared to 2019 (45 percent).

About 30 percent of Saudi residents practiced a physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week in 2021, compared to 20 percent in 2019, according to the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).

This increase indicates an improvement in the community’s awareness towards practice of sport and physical activity, media reports said.

The indicator of physical activity for at least 30 minutes per week is one of the Quality of Life Program indicators, following the Saudi Vision 2030 program, which aims to promote the practice of sports activities in the community.

The results of GASTAT’s sports statistics shows that 48.2 percent of the resident population practice activity for at least 30 minutes per week, an increase of 3.2 points compared to 2019 (45 percent). There is a substantial difference between men and women as 54.8 percent males engage in physical activity, while the share of females who engage in physical activity was 38.3 percent only.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity, or an equivalent combination of both throughout the week. For additional health benefits, adults may increase moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to more than 300 minutes, or an equivalent.

The results of GASTAT’s sports statistics shows that the percentage of the population practicing physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week in the kingdom reached 29.7 percent, an increase of 9.7 percentage points compared to 2019. Among them, males who engage in physical activity accounted for 36.1 percent, while females who engage in physical activity accounted for 20.3 percent.

The percentage of physical activity for at least 30 minutes per week among adults varies across the Kingdom regions, from 41.6 percent in Hail to 51.2 percent in Eastern region. The percentage of physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week varies across the Kingdom regions, from 24.3 percent in Al-Jouf to 32.9 percent in Eastern region.

The lowest difference between males and females who engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per week is in Hail region (12.6 percentage points), and the highest in Tabuk region (20.1 percentage points).The lowest difference between males and females who engage in physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week is in Qassim region (13.1 percentage points), and the highest in Northern Borders region (18.9 percentage points).

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