Jobless are most likely to get no exercise
THE unemployed and least well-off are the people most likely not to exercise or play sport.
The fourth Irish Sports Monitor has found that 46pc of people take some form of exercise, but that the less well-off a family is, the less they do to improve their fitness.
One of the key findings of the 2011 study is a significant fall in the amount of people taking no exercise, down 3pc to 13pc.
Irish Sports Council chief executive John Treacy said the change in attitudes was important for the nation's health.
"It's clear that the physical activity messages are getting through with the drop. If we continue along the same path with media involvement and public campaigns, then we predict this figure to keep falling."
Even though the unemployed are among those most likely not to exercise, those who do are generally classed as highly active.
People in households with an income below €2,500 a month are significantly more likely to be less active than homes with earnings of at least €5,500.
Experts, who interviewed almost 9,000 people aged 16 and over, warned that they saw a notable rise in sedentariness for men -- a fifth of those aged 45-54, one of the age groups hit hardest by the recession. The same pattern does not hit women until they reach 65.