Japan Data

Weekly Walks: Are Smartphones Behind Younger Japanese Getting Out More?

Health Sports Lifestyle Society

A survey of Japanese people’s exercise habits found that walking is growing in popularity among those in their twenties and thirties.

The percentage of people in Japan who went for a stroll or did some walking at least once in 2022 was 48.3%, equating to an estimated 49.8 million people. This was according to a survey looking at people’s sports habits, which is conducted regularly every two years by the Sasakawa Sports Foundation. Those who went walking at least once a week and not just when they felt like it or because they were about to have a health check accounted for 36.8%, meaning an estimated 38 million of the population. In 1996, it was 13.6%, or an estimated 13.1 million, indicating both the rate and estimated number of people have nearly tripled over the past twenty-six years.

Estimated Number of People Who Stroll/Walk

By age group, those aged 60 and over accounted for the highest percentage of people who strolled or walked both “at least once a year” and “at least once a week,” while those in their twenties and thirties had the lowest rates. However, while the rate for the elder generations has remained relatively stable since 2010, a steady increase in walking once a week or more has been seen among people in their twenties and thirties.

The Sasakawa Sports Foundation suggests that younger people are taking more strolls and walks because they enjoy using smartphone apps, such as taking photos and videos, posting on social media, playing location-based games, and keeping track of their steps. Although the rate of those aged in their sixties and over has not changed in the past 10 years, it is this growing increase among younger generations, pushing up the overall percentage of those strolling and walking in recent years, that will be the trend to watch.

Percentage of People Who Stroll/Walk at Least Once a Year

Percentage of People Who Stroll/Walk at Least Once a Week

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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