Edition 2023

Foto omschrijving: Man jogging on a dike along a canal, a small group of people walking in the distance.

How many adults comply with the physical activity guidelines?

In 2022, 44 percent of Dutch adults were getting enough exercise to comply with the guidelines of the Health Council of the Netherlands. Half of all adults did enough moderate intensity activities, such as cycling, gardening or swimming. Over three-quarters (78 percent) did enough activities to strengthen bones and muscles, for example walking, running, or playing football. Half of all adults said they did some form of sport weekly.

Hoeveel Nederlanders voldoen aan de Beweegrichtlijnen? How many adults comply with the physical activity guidelines? 50% 78% 44% 2,5 uur per week matig intensieve inspanningen moderate-intensity activities 2.5 hrs a week 2x per week spier- en botversterkende activiteiten muscle and bone strengthening twice a week Legenda

According to the Physical activity guidelines of the Health Council of the Netherlands, it is important that people get enough exercise. The guidelines recommend that adults engage in at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity activities, such as cycling, a week. They should also do activities to strengthen bone and muscular tissue, for example walking, at least twice a week on different days.

Just as many Dutch men as women aged over 18 complied with these guidelines in 2022 (44 percent). More men than women did enough moderate intensity activities, while more women did enough activities to strengthen their bones and muscles. More men (52 percent) than women (48 percent) did some form of sport at least weekly. The results are based on the Health Survey/Lifestyle Monitor, compiled by CBS jointly with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

One in three over-75s comply with guidelines

People aged 75 and older were least likely to comply with the guidelines (29 percent). In the age group 18 to 34 years, 48 percent met the target. In this age group, 63 percent did sports at least weekly, for the over-75s this was 31 percent.

Compliance with physical activity guidelines and physical exercise (%)
Leeftijd Comply with physical activity guidelines Exercise weekly
18-34 yrs 48.2 63.2
35-49 yrs 45.3 54.1
50-64 yrs 44.0 45.2
65-74 yrs 45.4 44.5
75 yrs and over 28.7 30.6

Exercise weekly

Nearly half (49 percent) of over-25s with a degree in higher education complied with the physical activity guidelines, and 65 percent said they did some form of sport on a weekly basis. In the group with a degree in prevocational secondary education (VMBO), 35 percent complied with the recommendations, while 30 percent said they exercised every week.

Compliance with physical activity guidelines and sport by education level (% of people aged 25 and over)
Onderwijsniveau Up to VMBO level VMBO to HBO level HBO level or higher
Comply with physical activity guidelines 34.9 43.3 49.0
Exercise weekly 30.0 45.4 65.2

Fewer Dutch complying with activity recommendations

Relatively fewer Dutch adults complied with the physical activity guidelines in 2022 than in previous years. When the guidelines were introduced in 2017, 47 percent of the adult population complied with them. In 2022 this had fallen to 44 percent. The share of adults who do some form of sport every week has remained constant in this period.


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Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik, Janneke Hendriks, Richard Jollie

With thanks to Hendrik Zuidhoek


Annelie Hakkenes (final editing)

Elma Wobma (general project leader)

Erik van den Berg

Gert Jan Wijma

Karolien van Wijk

Michel van Kooten

Paul de Winden

Saskia Stavenuiter

Sidney Vergouw


Gabriëlle de Vet, Lieneke Hoeksma, Frans Dinnissen


Ronald van der Bie

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition.