Study sees alarming trend: Germans are lazy and sit too much

In the office during the day, in front of the television in the evening – the majority of Germans spend most of their time sitting here. That makes you sluggish, the risk of illness increases. There are also fewer opportunities to reduce stress from work and everyday life. According to experts, the corona policy is jointly responsible for this.

The Germans spend one study sitting down too much, becoming more sluggish and unable to cope with stress adequately. Only every ninth citizen – a low since 2010 – leads an “all-round healthy” lifestyle with a view to diet, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and stress levels. This emerges from the “DKV Report 2021” presented by the head of the study Ingo Froböse from the Sport University Cologne and the German health insurance company.

On behalf of the insurer, the university had evaluated the data from around 2,800 representatively interviewed people aged 18 and over. The report, which has been drawn up for the sixth time since 2010, uncovered several worrying negative records, said DKV CEO Clemens Muth. This also applies to the sitting times: Germans now spend an average of 8.5 hours on their backs on workdays – one hour more than in 2018. Young adults (18 to 29 years of age) are even “world champions in seating” with 10.5 hours on workdays . Home office – increasing rapidly in the pandemic – has become a sit-down trap.

Most citizens sit at work (33 percent) or in front of the television (29 percent) – men an hour longer than women. Muth clarified that sitting for too long could be risky and have negative health effects. But even when feeling and coping with stress, the value has deteriorated considerably. The question arises: “Is the healthy way of life being phased out?” The expert Froböse concluded: “The Germans stay lazy, they are getting lazy.” In the trend, they lived more unhealthily than ever since the first report in 2010.

“Majority does not manage to charge batteries”

According to the survey from spring 2021, around 60 percent cannot find any ways to reduce or compensate for the stress they feel. The sports scientist warned that this was the highest stress level measured so far. “The majority do not manage to recharge their batteries.” The aggravations of the pandemic added to the stress load. “Women are more stressed than men,” explained Froböse, referring to the workload involved in childcare and homeschooling. At the same time, inactivity has increased, with the sitting factor having a significant impact.

According to the results of the survey, around 70 percent of citizens are physically active for more than 300 minutes per week in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization. At work, in your free time or during “transport” – that is, on the way from one place to another. That sounds good at first, but in 2010 it was 83 percent. And 11 percent classify the survey as “minimalists” who are only physically active for 150 to 300 minutes a week. Almost every fifth German – 19 percent – even falls short of 150 minutes of physical activity. This inactive group worries him very much, underlined Froböse. “They don’t do anything.”

Physical activity means physical – moderate as well as intensive – activities at work or in everyday life that have a stimulating effect. So it is by no means just about pure sport. There is a noticeably wide gap between the values ​​collected and the self-assessment of the respondents: Currently, 61 percent still rate their state of health as good or very good. According to Muth, this blatant discrepancy is also evidence that many people are not sufficiently aware of a healthy lifestyle. Among the “all around healthy” living women with a share of 14 percent do better than men with 9 percent.

Sport was neglected in the pandemic

In the federal states, Saxony (18 percent) has the lead, followed by Hamburg, Brandenburg and Rhineland-Palatinate / Saarland. In the middle are Bavaria, Lower Saxony / Bremen, Hesse and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The analysis shows that the citizens of North Rhine-Westphalia (7 percent) pay the least attention to a healthy lifestyle. For the first time one also looked at the metropolises, said Muth: Hamburg is the front runner with 17 percent. The bottom of the list for a healthy lifestyle is Cologne with only 4 percent. When it comes to nutrition, almost half are still healthy, with the recommendations of the German Nutrition Society serving as a guideline.

Women get better values ​​than men – for example, they eat three quarters of fruit and vegetables a day. 82 percent consume alcohol responsibly – i.e. not at all or only occasionally a glass of wine or beer. Almost every fifth person drinks too much. Almost unchanged, almost a quarter of those surveyed use cigarettes. Positive in the Corona period: Almost every second person says that they take more walks during the pandemic. According to Froböse, however, the trend is already declining again. Politicians “put sport in the corner” during the Corona crisis and presented it as “dangerous” with a view to the risk of infection. That was wrong and will leave its mark.