In Sweden, the neighborhood concept of "keeping up with the Joneses" might actually be "...with the Jönssons," but most certainly, for Swedish challengers who want to keep up with the rest of the race, the pace is going to require some serious running, biking exercise, sports or other strenuous activities.

The average Swedish person exercises more than ever today. Some 46% of Swedes between seven and 70 years of age said in a survey recently conducted by the Swedish Statistics Bureau (SCB) that they do some sort of exertion of their flesh, muscles and bones more than twice a week nowadays, and this represents an increase of eight percent must since the turn of the century.


"The Swedish people think it is fun and important. Both individuals and society benefit from when we keep ourselves physically active," says Karin Mattsson Weijber, chairman of the National Sport Federation, who commissioned the survey of five thousand average Swedish citizens.

To qualify as exercise, the people surveyed had to do what they were doing to work up a sweat for at least 20 minutes. Less than two in ten said that they did not fulfill this demand, and even fewer totally rejected physical activities. Although the report did not specify, it indicated that romantic activities - even if prolonged to more than 20 minutes of energy-burning high intensity - did not count in the category of sports or other physical fitness exercises.

Females and the elderly are exercising more often today. The elderly do so mainly for health benefits. Swedes of all ages said they liked exercises of all sorts simply because they were fun, relaxing and kept them in good physical condition, reported the study.

"There is a direct link between sports activities during adolescence and continued physical activities later in life," noted Weijber. The only exception to today's increasing exercise trends were found among 15-19 year old girls who have dropped out of physical education classes without starting regular exercise or sports activities.


All of Scandinavia exercises and does it looking good: Winning by Design

The so often exercising Swede is, however, statistically, also gaining weight.. The overweight Swede (..who's to trust these days.