Lack of time and interest: main reasons why people in Brazil do not practice sports
May 17, 2017 10h26 AM | Last Updated: February 02, 2018 01h21 PM
In 2015, 38.8 million persons aged 15 and over practiced some type of sports in the reference period while 123 million persons did not. Among them, the percentage of Brazilians that have never practiced any sports added up to 91.3, in the reference period: 38,2% of them claimed lack of time and 35% said they did not like it or want to do it. This is what the study was undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of Sports: Practice of Sports and Physical Activity, of Pnad 2015, reveals.
Lack of time was the strongest cause among the adult population, with a highlight to persons aged 25 to 39 (51.6%). Among teenagers aged 15 to 17, however, the main reason was the fact they did not want or like to practice sports (57.3%). On the other hand, the main reason for sports practice, claimed by 11.2 million persons (28.9% of practitioners), was to relax or have fun, followed by enhancing quality of life (26.8%).
The survey also estimated that 61.3 million persons practiced some type of sports in the country, representing 37.9% of the total persons aged 15 and over. The study found a direct relationship between schooling and income concerning sports or physical activity practice. Whereas 17.3% of uneducated persons practiced some type of sports activity, 56.7% of persons with a higher degree did it, and the percentage of practitioners ranged from 31.1%, among persons with no income, to 65.2%, among those with 5 or more minimum wages.
Soccer was the top modality in Brazil, with 15.3 million persons or 39.3% of the 38.8 million sports practitioners. In the second position is walking (9.5 million persons or 24.6%), followed by fitness sports (3.5 million persons or 9.0%).
Men were 94.5% of soccer practitioners and, the youngest the population, the greatest the contribution to the activity, reaching 64.5% of persons aged 15 to 17. Conversely, walking was the most practiced activity among persons aged 60 and over (59.6%).
Concerning the practice of physical activities, of the 28.1 million practitioners, 13.8 million undertook walking (49.1%). In the second position is fitness sports, with 4.7 million (16.8%), followed by bodybuilding with 2.0 million (7.2%). Walking was the most popular activity among all age groups, starting with 22.4% of the population aged 15 to 17 and reaching 66.5% of the elderly (60 years old and over).
In terms of physical activity practice, pursuing a better quality of life or welfare was the main reason for the 11.3 million persons (40.2%). Keeping or enhancing physical performance was reported by 24.7% of the population, and medical recommendation, by 15.7% of persons.
The survey studied the practice of sports and physical activities of persons aged 15 and over, in the reference period of September 27 of 2014 to September 26 of 2015, identifying the type of sport of physical activity practiced, the profile of practitioners, where, how often, how long the activity was practiced, if practitioners took part in any competitions and other related aspects. No difference between sports and physical activity was applied. Each respondent decided how to classify the modality undertaken. The complete publication of the survey can be accessed here.
Schooling and income influence the practice of sports and physical activities
In Brazil, 61.3 million persons practiced some type of sports or physical activities in the period of reference. They represented 37.9% of the total persons aged 15 and over in 2015 (161.8 million). By sex, 46.1% of practitioners were women and 53.9% were men, the contribution rate of women was 33.4% and of men, 42.7%.
The percentage of sports or physical activity practitioners decreases with aging, going from 53.6% of persons aged 15 to 17 to 27.6% among persons aged 60 and over. Concerning level of schooling, the percentage grows as schooling increases: 17.3% of uneducated persons, 36.6% of persons who completed primary education, 43.0% of persons who finished high school and 56.7% of those with a degree practiced sports or physical education.
There is also a straight relationship between sports or physical education practice and average household income per capita. Whereas 31.1% of persons with no income or incomes below ½ minimum wages practiced sports or activities, the percentage of persons with 5 minimum wages and over was 65,2%.
Practice of sports decreases with aging
In Brazil, 38.8 million persons aged 15 or over (24.0%) practiced sports and 28.1 million (17.4%) practiced physical education. While the percentage of male sports practitioners was higher than female's, the opposite occurred with the practice of physical activities. Out of sports practitioners, 24.5 million were men (31.7% of the total men) and 14.3 million were women (16.9%), whereas out of physical activity practitioners, 15.7 million were women (18.5% of the total women) and 12.5 million were men (16.1%).
Concerning the practice of sports, it is inversely proportional to age: 44.0% of the persons aged 15 to 17 to 13.4% of the group aged 60 and over. As to the practice of physical activity, the groups aged 18 to 24 (18.2%) and 25 to 39 (18.2%) were the ones with the highest percentages and 15.8% of the teenagers and 15.4% of the elderly practiced them.
By Federation Units, in terms of sports practice, the Amazonas was the state with the greatest percentage (32.2%) and Rio de Janeiro with the lowest (18.9%). Conversely, as to the practice of physical activity, theFederal District had the highest rate (28.5%), while Mato Grosso had the lowest one (9.0%).
Youngsters choose soccer as sport, the elderly prefer walking
Soccer was the top modality in Brazil, with 15.3 million persons or 39.3% of the 38.8 million sport practitioners in the country. In the second position is walking (9.5 million persons or 24.6%), followed by fitness sports (3.5 million persons or 9.0%).
The youngest the population, the greatest the participation of soccer, reaching 64.5% of persons aged 15 to 17. Conversely, walking was the most practiced activity among persons aged 60 and over, reaching 59.6%.
Soccer prevailed among men, who were 94.5% of the practitioners of the modality. It is worth mentioning male participation in: cycling (75.2%); wrestling and martial arts (70.0%); and athletics (64.5%). On the other hand, the top four sports practiced by women were: dance and ballet (85.0%); rhythmic and artistic gymnastics (80.5%); walking (65.5%); fitness sports (64.4%).
Walking is the most practiced physical activity in the country
Out of the 28.1 million practitioners of physical activity, 13.8 million undertook walking (49.1%). In the second position is fitness sports, with 16.8%, followed by bodybuilding with 7.2%.
Walking was the main physical activity for all age groups, starting with 22.4% of the population aged 15 to 17, reaching 66.5% of the elderly (60 years old and over).
Walking was the mostly practiced physical activity taken by women (63.6% of the total practitioners), as well as fitness sports (66.4%). For men, the main physical activities practiced were: soccer (94.4%), running (79.2%), bike riding (69.1%) and bodybuilding (57.3%).
Men practice sports to relax and have fun; women, to improve quality of life or welfare
According to the survey, the main reason for sports practice, claimed by 11.2 million persons (28.9% of practitioners), was to relax or have fun. This kind of answer was more common among men (37.8%) than among women (13.5%). The second main reason was to improve the quality of life or welfare (in Brazil it represented 26.8% or 10.4 million persons), inverting the distribution between sexes: 20.0% for men and 38.4% for women.
In terms of physical activity practice, to have a better quality of life or welfare was the main reason for the 11.3 million persons (40.2%). Keeping or enhancing physical performance was the reason given by 24.7% of the population and medical recommendation was reported by 15.7%.
Practicing sports once a week is more common among men
The most usual frequency of sports practice in Brazil was four times a week or over (26.3%), and only 7.8% persons exercised once a week. It should be noted that for men, the most common frequency was once a week (27.7%, against 10.5% of women). For women, the most usual frequency was four or more times a week (32.7%, against 22.6% of men).
When exercising, 43.4% of the persons spent more than one hour, whereas 40.4% spent 40 minutes to one hour. Just 2.0% exercised up to 20 minutes.
For the practice of physical activity, the weekly frequency was bigger. Of the total, 33.7% exercised four or more times and spent from 40 minutes to 1 hour, with 43.9% or 12.3 million persons.
Among sports, soccer was mostly practiced once a week (38.0%). Fitness sports recorded the biggest frequency with 45.7% of practitioners exercising four or more times a week. The physical activity with the highest frequency was bodybuilding, with 54.0% of practitioners exercising four or more times a week.
Distribution of persons aged 15 year or over that practiced sports/physical activities, by frequency and modality
Of the 5.6 million persons that took part in sports competitions, just 945 thousand were women
Nearly 1.7 million persons (4.4% of sports practitioners) were affiliated to or represented some institution and 5.7 million persons (14.6%) took part in sports competitions. Women had a quite less significant participation than men in competitions, both in absolute (945 thousand against 4.7 million) and relative levels (6.6% against 19.2%).
More than half (56.5%) of the population aged 15 and over never practiced sports
As a whole, 123 million persons (76.0% of the population aged 15 and over) did not practice sports in the reference period, with a little more than ¼ (25.7% or 31.7 million) had practiced sports before.
The total of persons who had never practiced sports corresponded to 91.3 million persons, i. e., 56.5% of the population aged 15 and over. Among women, more than 2/3 (67.9%) had never exercised and among men, less than half (44.0%).
Conversely, the percentage of persons aged 15 and over that neither practiced sports nor physical activities in the period of reference was 62.1% (100.5 million).
More than half (57.3%) of the teenagers that did not exercise claimed lack of interest
Lack of time (38.2%) and not liking or wanting it (35%) were the main reasons not to exercise. Lack of time was the strongest cause among the adult population, with a highlight to persons aged 25 to 39 (51.6%). Among teenagers aged 15 to 17, however, the main reason was the fact they did not want or like to practice sports (57.3%). Health problems or age was considered the main reason for 19.0% of the persons that did not practice any sports. In the population aged 60 and over, the percentage reached 51.4%. Lack of money (1.9%) and of local sports facilities (2.7%) were much less claimed reasons, showing that the practice would be rather linked to personal choices and available time than to available infrastructure and income.
Investment in sports and physical activities for the population is priority over formation of athletes
For 118.6 million (73.3% of the persons aged 15 year or over) the government should invest in physical activities. Out of these, 108.0 million (91,1%) would like the government to prioritize physical or sports activity for people in general and only 9.5 million (8.0%) consider a priority to invest in the formation of athletes.
On the other hand, 23.8 million persons (14.7%) though the government should not invest in sports or physical activities. For them, the investment should be allocated, mainly, to the area of health (57.8%), followed by safety (21.3%) and education (16.5%).