Leisure-time Physical Activity Among Different Social Groups of Estonia: Results of the National Physical Activity Survey

Open access


According to the Eurobarometer (European Commission, 2010), 39% of the Estonian adult population is not physically active at all. This percentage is relatively high compared to other countries that are culturally close to Estonia; the corresponding figure of close neighbors Finland and Sweden is below 10%. The article aims to present the results of a survey of physical activity (n=1,009) conducted in Estonia in 2013 and analyzes physical activity levels across various social groups. The results of the article show that employment, age, education, and ethnicity are important factors for engaging in leisure-time physical activity in Estonia. Non-ethnic Estonians, the less educated, the elderly, the unemployed, and those on maternity leave are less engaged in regular leisure exercise than people in other social groups. The results of the article were used to develop Estonia’s Sports 2030 strategy.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Advisory Committee Report (2008). Physical activity guidelines for Americans. Retrieved February 20 2015 from http://www.health.gov/paguidelines

  • Arvisto M. Undusk R. Paju K. Truu E. Noormets J. (2004). Survey: Physical activity and its perspectives among the Estonian adult population. Tallinn.

  • Bourdieu P. (1984). Distinction. London: Routledge.

  • Estonian Ministry of Culture (2006). Sport for All Development Plan 2006-2010. Tallinn.

  • Estonian Ministry of Culture (2011). Sport for All Development Plan 2011-2014. Tallinn.

  • European Commission (2004). The citizens of the European Union and sport. Brussels: European Commission/Directorate General for Education & Culture (EC/DGEC).

  • European Commission (2010). Sport and Physical Activity (Special Eurobarometer 334). Brussels: European Commission.

  • Farrell L. Hollingsworth B. Propper C. Shields M.A. (2013). The Socioeconomic Gradient in Physical Inactivity in England. Working paper no 13/311. Retrieved February 24 2015 from http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2013/wp311.pdf

  • Hartmann-Tews I. (2006). Social stratification in sport and sport policy in the European Union. European Journal for Sport & Society 3(2) 109-124.

  • Kahma N. (2012). Sport and social class: The case of Finland. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 47(1) 113-130.

  • Raudsepp L. Ööpik V. Lusmägi P. (2013). Estonia. In K. Hallmann & K. Petry (Eds.) Comparative Sport Development: Systems Participation and Public Policy (pp. 33-45). New York: Springer.

  • Scheerder J. Vandermeerschen H. Van Tuyckom C. Hoekman R. Breedveld K. & Vos S. (2011). Understanding the game: sport participation in Europe. Facts reflections and recommendations. Leuven: KU Leuven/ Research Unit of Social Kinesiology and Sport Management.

  • Stempel C. (2005). Adult participation sports as cultural capital: A test of Bourdieu’s theory on the field of sports. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 40(4) 411-432.

  • Szabo Földesi G. (2011). Hungary. In M. Nicholson et. al. (Eds.) Participation in sport: international policy perspectives. London: Routledge.

  • Thrane C. (2001). Sport spectatorship in Scandinavia: A class phenomenon. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 36(2) 149-163.

  • UK Sport Sport England and CONI (1999). Sport Participation in Europe: COMPASS 1999. London: UK Sport.

  • Van Tuyckom C. & Scheerder J. (2008). Sport for All? Social stratification of recreational sport activities in the EU-27. Kinesiologia Slovenica 14(2) 54-63.

  • Van Tuyckom C. & Scheerder J. (2010). Sport for All? Insight into stratification and compensation mechanisms of sporting activity in the EU-27. Sport Education & Society 15(4) 495-512.

  • Warde A. (2006). Cultural capital and the place of sport. Cultural Trends 15(2/3) 107-122.

  • Weber M. (1978). Economy and Society: An outline of Interpretive Sociology. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Wilson T.C. (2002). The paradox of social class and sports involvement: The roles of cultural and economic capital. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 37(1) 5-16.

  • World Health Organization (2010). Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.3

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.201
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.333

Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 274 135 7
PDF Downloads 123 70 10