Sanitas – promoting health and fitness

Sanitas – promoting health and fitness

Regular sport and exercise protect against many physical and psychological illnesses. However, around 60% of the Swiss population do too little physical exercise.1 At the same time, Swiss people are more active than in previous years, with more and more people doing a lot of sport.  

Sport and fitness in Switzerland2

  • 44% of all 15 to 74 year olds say they do sport several times a week, equivalent to at least three hours.
  • 25% do sport at least once a week.
  • 5% exercise infrequently or rarely do sport.
  • 26% say they’re not sporty. But most aren’t long-term couch potatoes, because many used to do sport or would like to do sport again.
  • 83% of the Swiss population meet the latest recommendations for physical activity.
  • One-sixth of the population regularly work out in fitness centres.
  • Men and women do roughly the same amount of sport.
  • The top reasons for doing physical activity include getting out in nature, health, fun, love of exercise and switching off from everyday life.
  • Excellent use is made of Switzerland’s high-quality sporting infrastructure, especially the hiking trails, swimming pools and sports halls.


1 Core document for Switzerland: Bewegungsförderung und Unfallprävention (promoting health and preventing accidents) published by the bfu – Swiss Council for Accident Prevention

2 Sport Switzerland 2014: sporting activities and sporting interests of the Swiss population

Regular exercise reduces health risks


Type II diabetes

  • 630,000 people in Switzerland are medically diagnosed with type II diabetes
  • 2.5 hours of fast walking a week cuts the risk of type II diabetes by 52%.


Musculoskeletal diseases

  • 40% of the Swiss population suffer from back pain
  • Regular exercise reduces back problems by up to 50%.


Cardiovascular diseases

  • Each year, 53,208 men and 67,549 women are treated in hospital for cardiovascular-related diseases      
  • 10 hours of exercise a week cuts the risk of cardiovascular diseases by up to 35%.



  • 40% of the Swiss population suffer from cancer at some time
  • Regular exercise, a healthy diet and not smoking cut the risk of cancer by up to 40%.


Source: Federal Office of Public Health, 2015

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