Saudi's First Sports Index Highlights Rising Fitness interest

Saudi's First Sports Index Highlights Rising Fitness Interes


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RIYADH — Pioneering research conducted by Sports Boulevard has cast a revealing light on Riyadh's fitness landscape.

The Riyadh Sports Index, generated from a comprehensive survey involving 1,000 city residents, showcases a significant trend with 49% of Riyadh's population now actively participating in exercise at least twice a week.

Set to be conducted biannually, the survey delved into Riyadh residents' sports and exercise habits, revealing a robust interest in fitness.

Despite this fervor, with 43% expressing a yearning for increased physical activity, a substantial 76% still acknowledge that they perceive their sports participation as insufficient.

The primary obstacles identified encompass time limitations at 45%, unfavorable weather conditions at 39%, and the high costs associated with gym memberships at 36%.

Noteworthy is the fact that improved accessibility to fitness facilities could motivate 18% of the respondents to engage in more exercise.

The survey also highlighted a notable disconnect between residents and sports facilities, with only 11% living within a kilometer of such amenities, and a mere 12% exercising within this range.

A striking 52% reside more than 3km away from the nearest facility, leading 31% to resort to home workouts.

This data coincides with the development of the Sports Boulevard, an ambitious project poised to be the largest urban linear park globally.

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Spanning over 135km, it will feature an extensive network of pathways for various activities and over 50 new sporting facilities, significantly enhancing the city's sports infrastructure.

Popular sports in Riyadh include walking 63%, running 47%, and football 44%.

The survey also uncovered that physical health (74%) and mental health (53%) benefits are the primary motivators for staying fit.

Community engagement (28%) and competitive aspects (24%) are also significant drivers. National Saudi sports figures inspire 77% of respondents, with 32% following sports professionals on social media.

The Sports Boulevard, once completed, will offer an expansive green space and cater to over 50 sports disciplines, aligning with Riyadh's health-conscious demographic.

It's part of Riyadh's mega projects initiated by King Salman on March 19, 2019, under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

This project contributes to the Kingdom's Vision 2030, aiming to place Riyadh among the world's top 10 cities by 2030.

Source: zawya

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