We spend more money on sport, but less time participating

Despite spending more on sport (€2.5bn in 2016 vs €2.4bn in 2014), Irish people are spending less time on participating in sport or activity.

According to the latest Philip Lee Sport Report, while the average active adult spends over two hours a week in physical activities, participation has fallen on average by 16 minutes since 2014. Men spend more time than women on sport and exercise, while older people spend more time than younger people on activity.

Walking (55%), fitness (28%) swimming (23%) and running (22%) are the most popular activities, largely unchanged since 2014, while Irish people spend over 20% less time watching live sport on TV compared to 2014.

The average sports fan spends around €260 per annum on matches, heats and finals, a figure that is down significantly from an average of €340 in 2014.

On the 2023 Rugby World Cup, 68% said they agree or strongly agree with the Government decision to bid to host the event, with 76% believing hosting such a large event would have a positive economic impact.

Just over 85% said greater participation in sport by children when at school would help reduce the incidence of childhood obesity, with video games and digital devices blamed as major distractions to activity.


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