The Daily Beast has adjudged the United States the world’s laziest country on the basis of a ‘study’ ranking countries in four different categories : Calorie Intake, Internet Usage, TV Watching and Sports Aversion. The 24 countries in the survey were ranked in each category and the cumulative score was used to determine how lazy the country was. Here is the overall ranking:
1. United States 9. Germany 17. Japan
2. Canada 10. Portugal 18. Norway
3. Belgium 11. Denmark 19. Australia
4. Turkey 12. Spain 20. Finland
5. Great Britain 13. Netherlands 21. Austria
6. Poland 14. Ireland 22. New Zealand
7. Mexico 15. South Korea 23. Sweden
8. France 16. Japan 24. Switzerland
The Top Five contries in each category were as follows :
Calorie Intake Internet Usage
1. United States 1. Canada
2. Belgium 2. South Korea
3. Ireland 3. United States
4. Italy 4. Turkey
5. Austria 5. Great Britain
Sports Aversion TV Watching
1. Turkey 1. United States
2. Great Britain 2. Mexico
3. United States 3. Poland
4. Mexico 4. Denmark
5. Belgium 5. Canada
With the United States finishing first in two categories and third in two others , it was a foregone conclusion that it would be on top overall. However, the judging criteria is so flawed as to render the entire process laughable ; there are more holes in the reasoning and methodology than there are in Swiss cheese.
To list only some of them :
1. How can only 24 countries be rated when selecting the Laziest country in the world? Last I knew, there were over 160 coutries on the planet. Granted some of them are minor players but the list of 24 did not include Russia, India , China, and most of Latin America and the Middle East.
2. The wealthier a country is the greater the average caloric intake of its citizens. No wonder the U.S is on top in this category followed by four European countries. Besides, does greater consumption of food automatically transalate to Laziness? I don’t think so. The connection between Internet usage and laziness is similarly tenuous.
3. TV watching is greater in colder climates. No wonder four of the top five in this category are cold weather countries; Mexico is the only surprise.
4. I don’t know how one measures sports aversion but I am surprised to see the U.S and Mexico ranked high in this category. Most Americans follow sports and many are active in one sport or another . It is amazing to see the number of joggers on American streets in all kinds of weather. Mexico is mad about futbol ; how in the world could it be called sports averse?
It is impossible to select one country as” the laziest”. Any attempt to do so on the basis of arbritary categories , some of doubtful validity, is bound to run into criticism. It might be more reasonable to make a selection on the basis of common sense observation though even then there are bound to be a number of different choices. If pressed to choose one country as The Laziest , I would probably select Saudi Arabia .
My reasoning would be as follows : It is a very rich country and most of the work is done by foreign workers and domestics. From what I see on TV, most of the citizens lead sedentary lives and there is no tradition of sports. The diet is rich, heavily meat oriented, and the calorie intake is high. The climate is so hot that it is not possible to do much outdoors for most of the year. Enough said .
I’ve made my choice. What’s yours ?