International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 360–371 | Cite as

Participation in physical activity and exercise in Greece: a systematic literature review

  • Nikolaos TzormpatzakisEmail author
  • Mike Sleap
Original article



To review the evidence from research relevant to participation in physical activity and exercise in Greece.


Systematic search of peer-reviewed literature.


No such previous review was found for Greece. Thus, its originality should provide valuable information. Selected publications included 36 papers, published between 1993 and 2006, concerning 15 studies. Most studies investigated exercise, sports and leisure-time physical activity but total and occupational physical activity was also studied.


Prevalence of physical activity and exercise in Greece was found to be low in the 1990s and 2000s, both in absolute and comparable terms. However, recent data reveal the development of a more active profile. The main reasons for participation were health, weight control, fitness and stress management, while lack of time was the main perceived barrier. Influencing factors were age, gender, income, type of work, marital status, residence and educational background. Recommendations include specific policies, strategies and campaigns to be addressed to the general public aiming at increasing participation rates. Future researchers should focus more on longitudinal and intervention studies.


European Union Prevalence Leisure-time Health-enhancing Occupational Sports Sedentary 


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Copyright information

© Birkhaeuser 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sport, Health & Exercise ScienceUniversity of HullHullUK
  2. 2.IraklionGreece

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