Although Romanians are generally less physically active than their counterparts in Northern Europe, more are beginning to exercise. BR takes a look at the regional picture, and hears from members of the local business community about their sporting achievements and how the lessons they learn from sport translate in the office and boardroom.
For the last few years, the increasing number of marathons and other such sporting events makes one wonder whether Romanians have finally started to understand the importance and benefits of doing physical activity. According to the results of a 2014 Eurobarometer survey on sport and physical activity, 59 percent of EU citizens never or seldom exercise or do sport, and it’s a similar story in Romania.
Sport or physical activity at home is popular in Eastern European countries including Romania, with 53 percent of regional respondents to the survey saying they exercise, though only 6 percent use health or fitness centers. The lowest figures for membership of a sports club are in Romania (1 percent), Bulgaria (2 percent) and Poland (3 percent). Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance reported in September 2015 that Romanians spend just over RON 143 million in fitness centers, spread across the 500 wellness locations nationwide.
Although the nation is not as physically active as Northern Europe, where above 70 percent of people exercise or do sport, the number of local races is rising every year, for children, amateurs, professionals and even runners with special needs. Moreover, 47 percent of Romanians say they are motivated to improve their health. And this motivation can be seen during sports events organized nationwide, where many participants sign up to support or advertise an NGO or a cause while competing.