Sports and outdoor activities, survey on living conditions

Updated: 8 December 2021

Next update: Not yet determined

Exercises several times a week
Exercises several times a week
Outdoor and exercise activities. Persons 16 years and older. Percent.
Outdoor and exercise activities. Persons 16 years and older. Percent.
Outdoor activities
Participated in outdoor activites, in total97.0
Shorter walk in parks close to home92.5
Berry- or mushroom picking41.6
Nature sleepover26.9
Exercising activities
Exercise never13.1
Exercise several times a week57.6
Organised and unorganised exercise
Participated in organized sports8.9
Exercised at a gym30.8
Participated in a sports competition5.0
Exercise motivation
Exercise for better health - strongly agree84.5
Exercise to look good - strongly agree18.1
Exercise to get fresh air and enjoy nature - strongly agree68.1
Barriers to exercise
Not enough time - strongly agree11.1
Too expensive - strongly agree6.8
Health issues - strongly agree14.4
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Participated in various outdoor activities during the last 12 months. Persons 16 years and older
    Participated in various outdoor activities during the last 12 months. Persons 16 years and older
    Persons (per cent)1 000 persons
    Participated in outdoor activites, in total97.04 236
    Shorter walk in parks close to home92.54 039
    Hike, in total82.03 581
    Hike, more than 3 hours52.72 301
    Hike, less than 3 hours79.23 458
    Cycling in nature27.01 178
    Skiing, in total38.61 685
    Skiing, more than 3 hours19.2838
    Skiing, less than 3 hours36.61 597
    Snowboarding, alpine- or randonee- skiing18.4804
    Fishing40.81 780
    Boat trip, in total48.32 109
    Trip with canoe/kayak/rowboat23.71 033
    Trip with other type of leisure boat37.91 655
    Outdoor ice skating14.4627
    Outdoor horseriding3.8166
    Outdoor swimming61.82 698
    Berry- or mushroom picking41.61 818
    Outdoor climbing5.9257
    Nature sleepover26.91 173
    Participated in organised outdoor activities6.3276
    Number of respondents in the survey6 0316 031
    Explanation of symbols
  • Frequency different outdoor activities. Persons 16 years and older. Per cent
    Frequency different outdoor activities. Persons 16 years and older. Per cent
    NeverLess than once a month1-3 times a monthOnce a weekSeveral times a week
    Shorter walk in parks close to home7.55.619.420.946.5
    Hike, more than 3 hours47.421.622.16.02.9
    Hike, less than 3 hours21.014.631.215.317.9
    Cycling in nature73.
    Skiing, more than 3 hours80.
    Skiing, less than 3 hours63.512.
    Snowboarding, alpine- or randonee- skiing81.
    Trip with canoe/kayak/rowboat76.413.
    Trip with other type of leisure boat62.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Participated in various exercise activities the past 12 months. Persons 16 years and older
    Participated in various exercise activities the past 12 months. Persons 16 years and older
    Persons (per cent)1 000 persons
    Have exercised86.93 794
    Jogging40.51 766
    Cross-country skiing30.11 315
    Biking37.71 647
    Strength-training48.42 112
    Tennis, squash or badminton2.4106
    Ice hockey, bandy or indoor bandy1.565
    Yoga, pilates3.3146
    Martial arts, boxing0.939
    Organized dance1.356
    Shooting sports0.418
    Horse riding0.522
    Number of respondents in the survey6 0316 031
    Explanation of symbols
  • Hvor ofte man har gjort ulike treningsaktiviteter. Personer 16 år og over. Prosent
    Hvor ofte man har gjort ulike treningsaktiviteter. Personer 16 år og over. Prosent
    AldriSjeldnere enn én gang i måneden1-3 ganger i månedenEn gang i ukaFlere ganger i uka
    Har trent eller mosjonert13.15.68.814.957.6
    Vært på jogge- eller løpetur59.65.910.110.114.3
    Gått langrenn for å trene eller mosjonere69.97.610.95.85.7
    Syklet for å trene eller mosjonere62.
    Drevet med styrketrening51.
    Svømt for å trene eller mosjonere89.
    Spilt fotball89.
    Spilt tennis, squash eller badminton95.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Organised and unorganised exercise. Persons 16 years and older
    Organised and unorganised exercise. Persons 16 years and older
    Persons (per cent)1 000 persons
    Participated in organized sports8.9388
    Exercised alone79.43 464
    Exercised with friends or family68.83 001
    Exercised at a gym30.81 342
    Participated in group exercise classes at a gym16.7728
    Participated in a sports competition5.0220
    Number of respondents in the survey6 0316 031
    Explanation of symbols
  • Motivation for exercise. Persons 16 years and older
    Motivation for exercise. Persons 16 years and older
    Strongly agreeSomewhat agreeSomewhat disagreeStrongly disagreeDo not know/Do not want to answer
    Compete and compare forces5.610.911.571.60.4
    Be with friends25.334.815.024.50.4
    Unwind and relax47.731.87.312.60.6
    Fresh air and enjoy nature68.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Barriers to exercise. Persons 16 years and older
    Barriers to exercise. Persons 16 years and older
    Strongly agreeSomewhat agreeSomewhat disagreeStrongly disagreeDo not know/Do not want to answer
    Not enough time11.116.014.957.60.4
    Too expensive6.88.912.071.31.0
    Health issues14.414.98.361.70.7
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics cover participation in outdoor activities and exercise activities, such as hiking, fishing, jogging, team sports and yoga, for persons 16 years and older. The statistics is based on the Survey on Living Conditions EU-SILC.

The information under «About the statistics» was last updated 16 August 2022.

Sports and physical activity

Questions on different sports and physical activities are not given to those who answer that they never exercise. These are coded as not engaged in any of the physical activities or sports.

Outdoor activities

Participated in outdoor activities, in total. Persons who have participated in at least one of the outdoor activities covered in the survey.


Persons are grouped by their age at the start of the year in which the interviews were conducted.


Centrality is a measure of how far a municipality is from service functions and major employers. The standard for centrality is used. It places the municipalities in a category from 1 (most central) to 6 (least central). A complete list of where each municipality is placed can be found here:


On January 1st, 2020, the Norwegian counties were changed as follows:

  • Viken
  • Oslo
  • Innlandet
  • Vestfold and Telemark
  • Agder
  • Rogaland
  • Vestland
  • Møre and Romsdal
  • Trøndelag
  • Nordland
  • Troms and Finnmark

Family cycle phase

Persons are grouped by which phase of the family cycle they belong to, and this is based on the person’s age, marital status (single/in couple) and whether the person has children, and the youngest child’s age. The concept single persons do not necessarily refer to persons living alone in the household, but rather persons not living in a relationship (they can still live with others, e.g. their parents or their children). Couples includes both married and unmarried couples. The groups with children consist of persons living with their own child(ren) (including stepchildren and adopted children) aged 0-19 years in the household.


The respondents highest completed education level.

  • Below upper secondary level
  • Upper secondary level
  • Higher education, undergraduate degree
  • Higher education, graduate degree or higher

Economic status

This variable covers the person's own perception of the main activity on the date of the interview. This differs from the definition of ILO (International Labour Organization), which has a predefined classification of economic status.

  • Working
  • Unemployed
  • In retirement
  • Disabled or unable to work
  • Student or pupil (including compulsory military service)
  • Other (including fulfilling domestic task and care responsibilities)

Immigrant background

Persons in immigration category B are grouped as immigrants from either immigrants from the EU/EEA etc. or immigrants from Africa, Asia etc. based on their country background. Immigration category B consists of persons born abroad with two foreign born parents and four foreign born grandparents.

The EU/EEA etc includes EU/EEA, UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Africa, Asia etc. includes Asia, Africa, Latin-America, Oceania except Australia and New Zealand and Europe except EU/EEA and UK.

Name: Sports and outdoor activities, survey on living conditions
Topic: Culture and recreation

Not yet determined

Division for Income and social welfare statistics

Nationally representative, tables presented by county (fylke).

The survey on outdoor activities is part of the Norwegian Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC. From 2011 onwards, the survey has consisted of a set of core questions that is repeated annually, and a theme sections with rotating topics that are repeated with set intervals. The annual set of core questions covers household composition, housing, economy, health, quality of life, employment and child care. Some of these themes are published in the statistic Poverty-related problems.

This statistic covers the national module on sports and outdoors activities, which is repeated every three years (next time in 2024). The two other national modules are Activity in organisations and political participation (next time in 2022) and Housing conditions (next time in 2023). In addition to the annual core questions and the rotating themes, separate surveys of Health, care and social relations and Work and working conditions are repeated every three years. See “Background and purpose” for more information on the Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC.

The Norwegian Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC is coordinated with the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). EU-SILC is a European sample survey of income, social exclusion and living conditions that is coordinated through the EU's statistics agency Eurostat and anchored in the European Statistical System (ESS).

The Norwegian Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC consists both of questions from EU-SILC that is collected throughout Europe, in addition to national modules (described above in the section “Frequency and timeliness”). Data from the EU-SILC questions is sent to Eurostat annually. Microdata on EU-SILC is made available for researchers and students through Eurostat. This includes cross-sectional and panel data.

Data files with results from the interviews and statistical files with coded variables, linked information and weights are stored. Anonymized files are also available for researchers through the NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data.

(Norsk senter for forskningsdata - NSD).


The Norwegian Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC will give insight into the main aspects of and differences in living conditions and follow their development over time. The Norwegian Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC will over a 3-year period be able to cover the major aspects of living conditions in the Norwegian population (when including the separate surveys of working conditions and health care and social contact as described in the section “Frequency and timeliness”).


The first surveys of living conditions in Norway were conducted six times between 1973 and 1995. These surveys shed light on the general components of living conditions; economics, housing conditions, leisure, social contact, health, education, employment and working conditions.

In 1996 a coordinated system of surveys was introduced. The system consisted of annual surveys with a repeating panel survey (EU-SILC from 2003) and a set of national rotating topics repeated every three years. The rotating topics were working environment, housing, outdoor activities, victims of crime, health and social relations.

In 2011 the present system for survey-based statistics on living conditions was introduced. A key objective of the new system was better coordination with international requirements connected to EU-SILC. National themes were coordinated with the European EU-SILC. The new system covers the presented topics from previous living condition surveys, in addition to new themes to illuminate political participation, social networks and economic and social problems.

New European regulations on social statistics were introduced in 2021. A common framework were established for all the social statistics regulated by Eurostat (IESS - Integrated European Social Statistics). This affects the parts of the survey that is regulated. There were made some adjustments to the national survey at the same time, e.g. new weights and revisions of the national modules.

In addition to the regular surveys of living conditions, Statistics Norway can on commission conduct individual surveys among selected groups.

The main users are government ministries, directorates, and research communities in the areas of working environment, health care, housing, leisure and local environment and living conditions in general.

Apart from this the statistics serve as a basis for information to the public, media and others interested in the state and development of living conditions.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on at 08:00 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar.

The concept of living conditions covers a very wide range of topics. Statistics on living conditions are therefore associated with many other statistics.

Information on housing is also available from the Register-based housing conditions statistics. The register-based statistics makes it possible to look at geographical areas in more detail but includes fewer variables and less information. The Survey of Consumer Expenditure has also issues on housing conditions, among other things a more detailed summary of most kinds of housing expenditures.

Information on employment is collected from several sources. The Labour Force Survey is an important source which provides some information that supplements the information from the Survey of Living Conditions, e.g. on training, work schedule (weekend work), and the workforce participation among disabled people. Some registers like the employee/employer registry, sick leave registry etc., are also relevant. The information in these registers can also be utilized in the Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC.

Income and wealth the previous year are added from the register information in the Income and wealth statistics. Some demographical information is also used, on education and social benefits.

Voluntary survey.

Before 2021: 1177/2003

After 2021: 2019/1700 and implementing regulations specified here: Legal framework EU-Silc from 2021

The population is Norwegian residents aged 16 years and above not living in institutions.

Data sources are interview data from the annual representative sample survey Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC, and various attached register information.

The net sample in the annual Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC is made up of about 11,500 people.

The sample is drawn according to the procedures for random selection.

Data collection conducted by telephone (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview CATI). Previously some interviews were conducted by interviewers visiting the interviewee (Computer Assisted Personal Interview CAPI). Data collection for the Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC is conducted from January to June in the year of interview, but most interviews are conducted in the first quarter.

The interview takes place using a computer-based questionnaire. The questionnaire includes various controls to prevent incorrect answers or registration errors during the interview. In some cases, the interviewer receives warnings for the registered response. In other cases, there is a limit on values that cannot be exceeded. Moreover, it verifies that only valid codes are recorded.

In surveys where industry and occupation are collected, these are encoded by Statistics Norway.

The sample consists of persons. Analysis unit is primarily person, but in some cases household. Using the household as the unit of analysis requires the use of weights (read more about weights in the section on Accuracy and reliability).

Not relevant

Statistics Norway has guidelines for merging data from different data sources (registers) for statistical purposes. The guidelines are based on Statistics Norway's authorisation given by The Norwegian Data Protection Authority, and the Statistics Act. According to these guidelines, responses given in surveys can only be used for the purpose of producing statistics, i.e. information concerning groups of people will be given, but not individuals.

Sports and physical activity

Sports and physical activities have been a topic in the Survey on Living Conditions in 1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2021. In the surveys on sports and physical activities, the main sample consists of persons aged 16 or more. In 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2020 there was an additional sample of children aged 6-15 years.

To a large extent, the same questions have been posed, although some changes have been made between surveys. Sometimes questions have been added or omitted, or the phrasing of questions has been altered. Since 2001, the question about exercise frequency has specified that frequency should refer to activity level during the season if the interviewee only participated in seasonal activities. In 1997 there was no such condition. In 1997 and 2001, the questions on types of sports and exercise activities were only posed to interviewees that exercised at least once a month. In 2004-2019 all the respondents were asked, while the respondents who said they never excised were not asked in 2021. In 2021 questions on hinders and motivations for physical activities were introduced.

In 1997 and 2001, the questions on physical activity were posed in a postal questionnaire, whereas subsequent surveys mainly used telephone interviews.

Outdoor activities

Outdoor activities were topics in the Survey on Living Conditions in 1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2021. The topic outdoor activities partly build on earlier topics in the Survey on Living Conditions. Some time series on outdoor activities can be traced back to the Survey on level of living from the years 1980-1995. In the surveys on outdoor activities, the main sample consists of persons aged 16 or more. In 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2020 there was an additional sample of children aged 6-15 years.

Non-response errors

The gross sample is drawn to be representative for the Norwegian population and consists of about 11 500 persons annually.

Not all persons in the gross sample participates in the survey. The persons who does not participate represent a non-response group in the sample. Because non-response differs between groups, the net sample will not be fully representative for the Norwegian population. This bias will vary for different groups and variables in question.

To adjust for some of the biases in the net sample, figures in the tables are weighted. The following variables are included in the weighting for non-response: Sex, age, education level, income, family size, immigrant background and county (fylke).

Sampling errors

The uncertainty of findings based on a sample from the population is often called sampling variance. The standard deviation is a measure of this uncertainty. The size of the standard deviation depends, among other factors, on the number of observations in the sample, and on the distribution of the current variable in the whole population.

Statistic Norway has not made exact calculations to compute standard deviation for the findings. However, in table 1, the approximate size of standard deviation is given for observed percentages.

To illustrate the uncertainty associated with a percentage, we can use an interval to give the level of the true value of an estimated quantity (the value obtained if making observation on the whole population instead of observation based on a part of the population). Such intervals are called confidence intervals if constructed in a special way. In this connection one can use the following method: let M be the estimated quantity, and S the estimate of standard deviation of M. The confidence interval will be an interval with limits (M - 2*S) and (M + 2*S). This method will give, with approximately 95 per cent probability, an interval containing the true value.

Not relevant


Håvard Bergesen Dalen

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