Lack of time and companion are top hinderances to playing sports

For most urban Indians, the biggest barriers to practising sports remain a lack of time, the weather being too hot or cold, lack of a companion to play with, and a lack of facilities near the residence, a recent survey has revealed.

The WEF-Ipsos global views on exercise and team sports survey also reveals that there is a certain lockdown effect into play when it comes to sports and Indians. Cycling (31 per cent), running (28 per cent), fitness (23 per cent), swimming (13 per cent) and soccer (9 per cent), have emerged as urban Indians’ most practiced or played sports in a week.

For global citizens, the top pursuits remained fitness and running — both clocking in around 20 per cent each.

Interestingly, the majority of global citizens (70 per cent) and urban Indians (81 per cent) polled claimed to be fairly happy with the life they are leading. The countries most happy with their lives were Saudi Arabia (91 per cent), China (90 per cent), Netherlands (85 per cent) and the US (83 per cent).

Incidentally, over half of urban Indians polled said they would like to practice more sports than they currently do.

“Tokyo 2020 has gotten us a few medals in our kitty. Since India is seeing a renewed focus on sports. These barriers, if addressed, can harness the existing talent in the country. Interestingly, if we see, the sports Indians conventionally love watching and the ones they practice (cycling, running etc) there is a disconnect. That can be explained as during the lockdown and due to being locked in, urban Indians have adopted fitness habits to offset the impact of the sedentary lifestyles that they have been thrown into and there is a spike in adoption of cycling, running, walking and fitness habits,” says Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at