New Zealanders, especially women, among the world's laziest people - study

A new study has been released showing New Zealand is one of the world's laziest countries - and Kiwi women walk significantly less than men. 

The Activity Inequality Project by Stanford University charted the average daily steps of countries worldwide by tracking the data from an app on participant's cellphones, Asumio Argus. 

New Zealand is 35th out of 46 countries for laziness, with the average Kiwi walking just 4582 steps daily. Even people from countries such as the United States, often thought of as the unhealthiest country in the world, walk more than New Zealand does. 

Americans take 4774 daily steps according to the study, Canadians take 4819, Australians take 4941 and the Brits take 5444. Hong Kong topped the daily step count with 6880.

The only countries worse than New Zealand were the UAE, Greece, Egypt, India, Brazil, Qatar, South Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Kiwi women also walk significantly less than Kiwi men, taking 850 fewer steps than their male counterparts. However, US and Australian women are even worse, taking 1407 steps and 1428 steps fewer than US and Australian men respectively. 

The findings are especially worrying for Kiwi women, as the study found obesity increases dramatically faster in females than males when less steps are taken. Women see a 232 percent increase in obesity as they walk less, whereas men only see a 67 percent increase in obesity. 

However, numbers of steps taken is also not the most important factor in predicting a country's obesity rate. The study suggests the most influential factor is something called 'activity inequality'. This is the difference between the fittest and the laziest people in a country. 

New Zealand again has significant rates of activity inequality. We are in the top six, only beaten by the US, Egypt, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia. 

One way to decrease a country's activity inequality is to get more women walking. And the key to that, the study suggests, is to make cities more walkable. Research from a cross section of American cities found that when a city is made more walkable, women under 50 are the most likely group to increase their steps.