Six out of ten people in Spain practiced sports in the last year


Six out of ten people in Spain practiced sports this year and 57.3 percent of those over 15 years of age did so periodically or occasionally, according to the 2022 Sports Habits Survey carried out jointly by the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Higher Sports Council (CSD).

Compared to the last survey of this type before the pandemic, in 2015, there is an increase of 3.8 points. “This increase is very positive. It means that more Spaniards practice a physically active and healthy lifestyle and move away from a sedentary lifestyle,” said the president of the CSD, José Manuel Franco.

However, if the results are compared with the 2020 edition, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a decrease of 2.3 points is recorded. “We can conclude that many of the people who agreed to practice sports in the midst of the (coronavirus) crisis have maintained this habit when the harshness of the pandemic has subsided,” Franco analyzed.

Age, sex and educational level are determinants in sports practice. With respect to the first factor, the annual participation rates exceed 80% among the youngest population and decrease as age increases, reaching around 16% in the 75-year-old bracket and over.

Regarding gender, sports practice continues to be higher among men than among women, regardless of the frequency, standing in annual terms at 63.1% and 51.8%, respectively. A gap that, however, has narrowed slightly since 2015, going from 12.3 percentage points to 11.3.

“I am convinced that the promotion of sports practiced by women and the visibility of our athletes, whom society is turning into benchmarks, will result in a reduction in this gap in the coming years,” Franco said in this regard.

On the other hand, the main barriers that prevent sports practice are lack of time (34.6%), followed at a great distance by lack of interest (25.4%). Among other reasons, health problems (11%) or age (10.8%) stand out, which are more determinant in the population over 55 years of age. Likewise, 7.3% consider the lack of adequate nearby facilities an impediment; 5.8% economic reasons; and 5.2% not having someone to practice sports with.


73.2% of those who practiced sports in the last year did so in more than one sport, compared to 26.8% who only participated in one – a figure that, however, represents nearly 6 points more than in 2015-. The practice of various sports is more frequent among men than among women, and among those under 45 years of age, a segment of the population in which it reaches 80%.

The vast majority practice sports individually (60.9%, almost three points more than in 2015), compared to 11.7% who prefer group sports and 27.4% who do not show any preference. Differences by sex are also detected in this aspect, with a preference for individual sports reaching 66.9% among women, compared to 55.7% registered among men. By age groups, the preference for team sports is more frequent among the youngest.

The sports modalities most practiced are hiking and mountaineering (30.8%), cycling (28.4%), intense gymnastics (28%), swimming (27.2%), light gymnastics (26.4%), %), running (19%), bodybuilding and weightlifting (17%), paddle tennis (15.8%), football 11 and 7 (14.5%), basketball (9.7%) , futsal and beach soccer (8.1%) and tennis (8%).


74.8% of the population attended, at least once a year – in person or through audiovisual media – a sporting event. Specifically, 31.1% did so in person (12 points more than in 2020), while 72.2% accessed through the media, mainly through television.

Of the total number of in-person attendees at sporting events, 85.5% stated that it was a male category event, 24% a female category and 15.4% mixed. The difference in the events followed by audiovisual media is even more pronounced: 96.5% belonged to the male category, 36.9% to the female category and 13.6% to the mixed category.

“To guarantee that the public has the possibility of consuming sport practiced by women, the new Sports Law -pending its final approval in the Congress of Deputies- will promote equality in the visibility of sporting events in the male and female category in the media, especially in the public media, which will be obliged to schedule, at comparable audience times, the live or deferred broadcast of comparable sporting events for men and women,” concluded the president of the CSD.