The number of people in the country who exercise on a regular basis rose last year to 55.8 percent of the population from 51.5 percent in 2007, a survey by the Bureau of Health Promotion (BHP) found, officials said yesterday.
The survey of 16,901 people aged 18 and older sought to determine the health behavior of Taiwanese, said Tsai Chun-yu (蔡春瑜), a BHP section chief.
Some 55.8 percent of the respondents said they had exercised in the two weeks previous to the survey, Tsai said, for 68 minutes a day, 3.6 days a week on average.
However, the remaining 44 percent of the respondents had no exercise regimen, the poll found.
The results of a 2005 survey found that walking was the most popular exercise, with 42 percent of respondents saying this was their preferred exercise, Tsai said.
Jogging was favored by 17 percent of the respondents, hiking by 12 percent, calisthenics by 10 percent and cycling by 9.38 percent, she said.
Based on those figures, it was estimated that at least 950,000 people rode bikes for exercise, she said.
For a woman who weighs 55kg, cycling for 60 minutes can burn 155 calories to 247 calories, depending on the speed the cyclist travels at, she said.
With cycling becoming increasingly popular, the bureau reminded the public of the importance of wearing helmets when cycling.