Fitbit data shows European countries leave US well behind on step count

Many of us our looking forward to 2018, setting goals and plans on being healthier versions of our 2017 selves. But this is also the time to tally up achievements over the past twelve months. To this end, Fitbit has released its 2017 Year in Review revealing the top fitness facts of the year based on aggregated data from its user-base.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

So which countries were the most active?

All in all, users of Fitbit devices took 45 trillion steps in the period under review. Hong Kong topped the charts with its users averaging an impressive 9,600 steps per day. European countries also featured high in the rankings. Spain snatched second place, with Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, UK, Italy, Netherlands and Norway rounding off the top ten. The US was in distant twentieth place averaging 7,500 steps per day, just below Canada.

Rank Country Average Daily Steps
1 Hong Kong 9,600
2 Spain 9,500
3 Switzerland 9,400
4 Sweden 9,300
5 Ireland 9,200
6 Germany 9,100
7 United Kingdom 9,000
8 Italy 8,900
9 Netherlands 8,800
10 Norway 8,700
11 Japan 8,700
12 New Zealand 8,600
13 Australia 8,600
14 Belgium 8,500
15 Singapore 8,500
16 China 8,400
17 South Korea 8,300
18 France 8,200
19 Canada 8,100
20 United States 7,600

While these figures may seem to be slightly on the high side, perhaps it is to do with the Fitbit wearing segment of the population putting more effort to bump up their step count. Previous research has shown that Americans on average take just under 5,000 steps per day, well below the above 7,500 figure. Perhaps this is an illustration of the benefits of wearing a fitness tracker.

Essential reading: Tips to help you hit 10,000 steps per day

Fitbit has also analyzed and ranked the most active cities in the US, based on average daily steps, active minutes and hours slept per night. Here are the top 10.

Rank City
1 Boston, MA-Manchester, NH
2 Madison, WI
3 Portland-Auburn, ME
4 Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
5 Denver, CO
6 Rochester, NY
7 Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, IA
8 Hartford & New Haven, CT
9 Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, WA
10 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY

Some feel that active minutes are more important than any of the other stats. After all, swimming or riding a bicycle is not going to help your step count very much. General recommendations are that we need at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 of vigorous intensity physical activity, each week.

fitbit data shows european countries leave us well behind on step count 2 - Fitbit data shows European countries leave US well behind on step count
Image source: Fitbit

Spain made its way to the number spot on this measure. Its 17 active minutes per day was ahead of Hong Kong, Sweden and Japan (all with 16), China (15), Ireland (14), Netherlands (13), UK and South Korea (12) and Switzerland (11). This suggests that on average users are not really hitting that 150 minute per week sweet-spot.

fitbit data shows european countries leave us well behind on step count 4 - Fitbit data shows European countries leave US well behind on step count
Image source: Fitbit

Finally, Fitbit has also tallied up sleep statistics from its global user-base. The overall figure equated to 16.9 billion hours of sleep or 2.4 billion nights of sleep. The US faired better on this measure coming in thirteenth, with New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland topping the charts.

Essential reading: Ten gadgets for advanced sleep monitoring

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality kip time at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. Most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Perhaps something else to your New Year resolutions list.

Rank Country Average hours slept per night
1 New Zealand 7.1 hours
2 United Kingdom 7.03 hours
3 Ireland 7 hours
4 Netherlands 7 hours
5 Australia 7 hours
6 Belgium 6.97 hours
7 France 6.95 hours
8 Sweden 6.9 hours
9 Canada 6.87 hours
10 Germany 6.83 hours
11 Switzerland 6.8 hours
12 Norway 6.75 hours
13 United States 6.73 hours
14 Italy 6.7 hours
15 Spain 6.6 hours
16 Mexico 6.4 hours
17 China 6.3 hours
18 Hong Kong 6.25 hours
19 Singapore 6.2 hours
20 South Korea 6.05 hours

The Fitbit Year-end review tallied up stats from 3.5 million Fitbit users from around the globe. The period under review was November 1st 2016 to October 31st 2017.

Source: Fitbit

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