Just the Facts: Physical exercise

Central Bureau of Statistics: Israeli men exercise more than women; Tel Aviv exercises more than Haifa, Rishon Lezion and Jerusalem.

Physical exercise graph 521 (photo credit: Central Bureau of Statistics)
Physical exercise graph 521
(photo credit: Central Bureau of Statistics)
The Central Bureau of Statistics recently published the findings of a health survey that it conducted for the purpose of providing data in the areas of health, use of healthcare services, health-related habits and health insurance, as well as measuring changes in these indicators over time.
One of the survey questions addressed the issue of physical exercise.
Physical exercise has important implications in terms of both physical and mental health. Exercising is important not only for losing weight and maintaining physical fitness, but also for improving one’s overall physical condition, reducing the likelihood of chronic illnesses, and improving well-being and mental health.
The survey indicates that during 2009, 20 percent of Israel’s population aged 20 and above engaged in physical exercise (a cumulative total of at least 30 minutes during the day) at least three times a week. The percentage of Jews and others (23%) who did so was significantly higher than the percentage of Arabs (6%).
Within the Jewish population, the level of engagement in physical exercise differed significantly according to place of birth: The highest percentage of those aged 20 and above who exercised was recorded among people born in Europe and America (25%), followed by those born in Israel (24%), Asia (21%) and Africa (16%).
The data indicate that a correlation exists between years of education and engagement in physical activity. The more years of education received, the higher the percentage of people engaged in physical activity: Among those with zero to eight years of education, 8% were physically active, compared to 23% of those with 13 to 15 years of education and 29% of those with 16 years or more.
The percentage of people who exercise in Jerusalem is lower than in the other major cities. In Jerusalem, approximately 19% of those aged 20 and above exercise, compared to 26% in Tel Aviv and Haifa and 23% in Rishon Lezion. As the graph indicates, the percentage of men who exercise is generally higher than the percentage of women. The percentages of men and women who engage in physical exercise in Jerusalem are close, measuring 20% and 18% respectively.