Canada in top 20 most fit countries, Fitbit data reveals

If you thought it was hard to reach your step count goals every day, Fitbit may be giving you some extra motivation.

The US-based connected wearable fitness device company has identified its list of the top 30 fittest countries in the world for the first time ever, and the results may be surprising to some.

Analyzing daily activity data from more than 20 million Fitbit users across the globe, Fitbit was able to look at a range of user habits, including average daily steps, active minutes, move reminders, goals met, resting heart rate and duration of sleep, to quantify global trends in health and behaviour.

Ireland took first place, with the United Kingdom and Sweden rounded out the top three. Canada managed to squeak into the top 20, ranking 19th, while the US just made the list, coming in at 28.

It’s interesting to note that majority of the list is made up of European nations – only three South American countries, two Asian, and one each from Africa and the Middle East made Fitbit’s top 30 rankings.

The complete list is below:

  1. Ireland
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Sweden
  4. Netherlands
  5. Switzerland
  6. Denmark
  7. Spain
  8. Finland
  9. Germany
  10. New Zealand
  11. Austria
  12. Norway
  13. Belgium
  14. Australia
  15. Italy
  16. Czech Republic
  17. Portugal
  18. Japan
  19. Canada
  20. France
  21. Hong Kong
  22. Poland
  23. Chile
  24. Ukraine
  25. Hungary
  26. Israel
  27. Argentina
  28. US
  29. South Africa
  30. Colombia

More than just a wearable device

Fitbit has expressed a desire to be known for more than just its hardware, explaining that its platform connects users all around the world and creates an engaging social fitness community.

“Our software and services offerings help inspire, coach and guide users to reach their goals in more personalized and powerful ways,” says Shelten Yuen, vice president of research at Fitbit. “The network effect of our global community of millions of users gives us an incredibly strong competitive advantage because it provides our users with the support and motivation they need to reach their goals whether that means eating healthier, moving more or sleeping better.”

Steps and sleep data

Fitbit also provided other statistics, pointing out that Spain gets the most steps per day, with an average of 9,023, and followed by Switzerland, Hong Kong, Sweden, New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Ireland, Australia, and Japan. The US came in at 29th, with an average of 7,556 steps per day.

When it comes to down time, the UK clocked in the most sleep time with an average of seven hours and 15 minutes per night. Other countries in the top 10 include the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, France, and Germany (in order). The US, Fitbit says in its May 15 press release, ranks 23rd, averaging six hours and 48 minutes per night.

The World Health Organization recommends an average of 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense aerobic physical activity per week, with a range of 22.3 to 27.9 active minutes per day. From examining its data, only Spain, Sweden, Hong Kong, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland and Japan exceeded this, while the US falls to 33rd in this category, averaging only 16.5 minutes per day.

Fittest US cities

Fitbit also revealed the most fit cities in the US. The 2017 list is below:

  1. Duluth, Minn.
  2. Appleton, Wis.
  3. Eau Claire, Wis.
  4. Boulder, Colo.
  5. Bellingham, Wash.
  6. Madison, Wis.
  7. Billings, Mont.
  8. Rochester, Minn.
  9. Spokane, Wash.
  10. Eugene, Ore.
  11. Green Bay, Wis.
  12. Denver, Colo.
  13. Portland, Ore.
  14. Sioux Falls, S.D.
  15. Lincoln, Neb.
  16. Syracuse, N.Y.
  17. Rochester, N.Y.
  18. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  19. Janesville, Wis.
  20. Minneapolis, Minn.
  21. Boise, Idaho
  22. Albany, N.Y.
  23. Milwaukee, Wis.
  24. Washington, Va.
  25. Stamford, Conn.
  26. Reno, Nev.
  27. West Chester, Pa.
  28. Crystal Lake, Ill.
  29. New Hudson, Mich.
  30. Columbia, Mo.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacs
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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