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Jul 17, 2017 05:15 PM IST

Stanford research says India is a lazy country

A new study that amassed data from people across the globe to map out activity levels ranks India at 38 among 46 countries in terms of activity levels

India has been ranked among one of the laziest countries in the world. According to a report published in the journal Nature, researchers from Stanford placed India at number 38 in a list of 46 countries in an analysis that measured the level of activity by monitoring the number of steps taken in a day.

Researchers tracked 70,000 people across the globe and amassed 68 million days’ worth of data through an app to track where in the world people are taking most steps every day.

Hong Kong emerges as the global topper with a score of 22.2, who took an average of 6,880 steps per day, followed by China, Sweden and South Korea.

Indonesia was ranked the last 'laziest' country, with only an average of 3,513 steps recorded every day.

How was it done?

The data was tracked via smartphones that are equipped with tiny sensors called accelerometers which can automatically record stepping motions.

The researchers acquired this data from the Argus app, which tracks physical activity. The data was anonymised but gave out the person’s age, gender, height, weight and Body Mass Index (BMI).

standford worldwide steps

Source Stanford Press Release (Image credit: Tim Althoff)

Scott Delp, a professor of bioengineering involved in the project, told the BBC, “The study is 1,000 times larger than any previous study on human movement. There have been wonderful health surveys done, but our new study provides data from more countries, many more subjects, and tracks people's activity on an ongoing basis. This opens the door to new ways of doing science at a much larger scale than we have been able to do before.”


Gender-Based Inequality Gap

Jure Leskovec, a scientist in the project, while commenting on the gap between activity levels and women’s obesity said, “When activity inequality is greatest, women’s activity is reduced much more dramatically than men’s activity, and thus the negative connections to obesity can affect women more greatly.”

Activity levels standford


The study also found that the biggest gap between the countries wasn’t how lazy a country was as a whole, but how much of a gap there was between ‘fittest’ and the ‘laziest’. Essentially, bigger the gap, higher were the levels of obesity.

Sweden, which had one of the lowest gaps between those who were the fittest and the fattest, had one of the lowest obesity levels as per the study.

Delp said, “If you think about some people in a country as ‘activity rich’ and others as ‘activity poor,’ the size of the gap between them is a strong indicator of obesity levels in that society.”

On an average, the study recorded that Indian males had an average clocked steps of 4,606 and Indian females had 3,685.

The Stanford researchers have stated that the findings help explain the global patterns of obesity and give new ideas for tracking it.

To access the full data from the study, click here.


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