Sport and healthier lifestyles important for every third Czech, poll suggests

Photo: Michal Trnka

More and more Czechs are seeking healthier lifestyles, which means eating better and taking part in sports, from Nordic walking to ever-popular cycling and ball games. That at least is the gist of a new survey conducted by the GfK agency. Bank data suggests that Czechs, on average, spend around 14,000 crowns on sports– the equivalent of around 517 euros – per year.

Photo: Michal Trnka
The success of retail chain sporting goods stores, the running and jogging craze which has taken off in Prague and other Czech cities and towns, a broad interest in wellness tourism, and plenty of traffic on walking, hiking and bike trails, all are indicators that many Czechs simply can’t live without sport. While the pub garden remains the ideal outdoors for a segment of the population, not keen on running a half-marathon (even if the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive) more and more Czechs are making an effort to get or stay in shape.

A poll conducted by GfK has confirmed that one in three Czechs actively takes part in sports. Among the most popular? Weight training, aerobics and dance at fitness centres. The Czech Association Sport pro všechny (Sports for Everyone) notes that when it comes to the outdoors, cycling, skiing, and ball sports remain exceedingly popular. Organised football (or soccer) is without question a mainstay from the age of five and up and even Czechoslovak offshoots like nohejbal (think volleyball with your feet) remain popular (although the latter is admittedly more on the fringe).

Barbora Večerková headed the health survey conducted by GfK; she told Czech Radio more about the popularity of taking walks or hiking in the countryside. In the Czech Republic, she said, an interest in activities on foot, such as Nordic walking, increases with age.

“Walks in the countryside, Nordic walking, exercise on stairs, in short, all kinds of activity on foot, are practised by 20 percent of Czechs. Interest grows with age and some of the most dedicated to the sport are above the age of 60.”

Photo: CzechTourism
Vít Hanáček, of the Association Sport pro všechny, confirms that conditions have not only improved over the years but more significantly, overall attitudes have changed.

“The period when people didn’t do sports is over. People have many more activities to choose from today than ever before, and there are not-for-profits which also help both kids and their parents find activities. Modern parents know that physical activity is a cornerstone of a healthy life.”

According to Czech Radio, more and more Czechs are also mindful of what they eat, paying closer attention to what is on the label and where foods were produced. Some put stock in buying Czech-produced foodstuffs with the Klasa national label marking excellence in quality.