In 2023, 56% of the Dutch population aged four and over played sports at least once a week. This figure marks an increase from 53% in 2022. Notably, the percentage of individuals with physical disabilities who played sports weekly saw a significant rise, from 23% to 29%.

These are among the latest findings of the Health Survey/Lifestyle Monitor conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in partnership with RIVM. The new statistics were published today on

Percentage meeting Physical Activity Guidelines remains consistently low

The percentage of Dutch people meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines remains low, standing at 45%. The previously observed decline seems to be stabilising. Additionally, an examination of the combination of meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines and playing sports weekly revealed that the percentage of individuals who did not meet the guidelines but did play sports weekly increased in 2023 (41%) compared to 2022 (38%). However, this increase did not translate into a higher percentage meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines.

About the Physical Activity Guidelines

The Health Council of the Netherlands has set out Physical Activity Guidelines. These guidelines state that adults should take part in at least 2.5 hours of moderate to intensive physical activity per week, spread out across multiple days. Walking and cycling are examples of this kind of physical activity. The recommendation for children is at least one hour of physical activity every day. Additionally, adults should take part in activities that strengthen muscles and bones at least twice a week and children at least three times a week. You can find more information about the Physical Activity Guidelines on this web page of the Knowledge Centre for Sport & Physical Activity.

The government aims for 75 per cent of the Dutch population to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines by 2040. Getting the recommended amount of physical activity reduces the chance of physical and mental health problems. This goal is part of the National Prevention Agreement. To help achieve it, the Physical Activity Alliance was created in 2022. The trend in meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines standard has been available at since 2001.