Gym Owner Monthly

2022 Eurobarometer on Sport and Physical Activity reveals that 45% of Europeans never exercise or play sport

The European Commission has recently published the 5th Eurobarometer on Sport and Physical Activity on September 2022. Results are based on a 20-question survey from 26,580 Europeans from all 27 Member States.

Some of the key findings revealed that 45% of Europeans currently never exercise or partake in physical activity. The survey also unveiled that during the COVID-19 pandemic, half of Europeans reduced their activity levels or even stopped exercising altogether. While this is a stabilisation compared to the 2017 Eurobarometer, the continued promotion of sport and physical activity is of paramount importance to keep encouraging people to exercise regularly. In fact, European Commission Vice-President Margaritas Schinas and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel underscored that it is of crucial importance to increase support for promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

More than half of Europeans (54%) engaged in sport or physical activity to improve their health, far ahead of other reasons such as to relax or have fun. According to the survey, lack of time (41%) and motivation (25%) are the two main reasons currently preventing Europeans from exercising more regularly. 

Club memberships increased by 1% compared to 2017

In terms of club memberships, 12% of Europeans answer that they are members of a health or fitness centre. This represents a 1% increase compared to the previous Eurobarometer on Sport and Physical Activity in 2017. 13% of Europeans who are physically active say they do so in a health or fitness center, indicating a 2% decrease in comparison with the previous Eurobarometer. Furthermore, over two-thirds of Europeans (69%, unchanged) say they are not a member of any club, and 2% (+1) answer that they don’t know.

At national level, over a quarter of respondents are members of a health or fitness centre in Sweden (35%), the Netherlands (29%) and Denmark (26%). Conversely, the lowest proportions are found in France and Romania (6% in both countries) and Lithuania (2%). 

Commenting on the Eurobarometer key findings, EuropeActive’s President David Stalker said: “With 45% of Europeans never exercising or participating in physical activity, the new Eurobarometer on Sport and Physical Activity’s findings demonstrate once again how important it is for everyone, including governments across Europe, to step up their commitments to promoting physical activity for the wellbeing of all Europeans.

Through the #BEACTIVE DAY campaign, which is taking place this week, EuropeActive and its partners will continue to step up their commitment to help Europeans get moving. The fact that more than half of Europeans indicate that the main driver for being active is to improve their health is really encouraging and shows the potential of our sector being rightfully recognised as an important part of the solution to public health challenges.”

To access the full report, please visit