Observatory Sport and physical activity Switzerland

Further information

A document (PDF) containing detailled information on all indicators is available in German.

Fair and safe sports

"Fair and safe sports" is one of the Observatory's  indicator domains and includes nine groups of indicators.

Short information on the indicators in this domain is available by clicking on the indicators' names below. More complete information in German can be displayed by clicking on the links on the left hand side.

4.1 Level and development of sport accidents and injuries

The number of sport injuries has been relatively stable since the 1990s but has risen sharply in 2003 (mostly due to the hot summer of 2003) to decrease again slightly in the four following years. Over the past few years the number of injuries has only increased slightly to somewhat und 420'000 cases per year in 2014.

The fact that there are substantial differences between different sports - handball, ice hockey and football currently being the most "dangerous" sports - and population groups is the basis for specific prevention campaigns (e.g. in football or winter sports). Given relatively constant rates of participants, these campaigns are expected to lead to a lower number of accidents eventually.

4.2 Cost of sport accidents and injuries

During most of the 1990s the cost associated with sport injuries was quite stable. From 2000 to 2003 the cost has risen sharply due mostly to the sharp increase in health costs but also due to the exceptional number of accidents for 2003 (see indicator 4.1). After 2003 there was a phase of stabilitation which has given way to new stong increases over the past few years. In 2014, the direct cost of sports accidents amounted to roughly one billiion Swiss Francs.

4.3 Accident prevention in sport

The number of persons wearing helmets and other safety devices while doing sports has risen sharply over the past few years. About 90 percent of all persons involved in snowboarding and downhill skiing are currently wearing helmets. However, wearing helmets while biking still amounts to less than half of all bikers.

4.4 Violence and fairplay in sport

Contrary to a number of recent media reports, data from Swiss football suggest that the game has not become more unfair between 2001 and 2013. Quite to the contrary: Currently, violent behaviour appears to be less frequent than it used to be some years ago.

4.5 Antidoping

The Swiss anti-doping strategy is based on the three pillars "Controls", "Prevention and Information" and "Research".

With respect to the first pillar, it can be noted that the Swiss system of doping controls is well established and works well. In 2016, over 3000 doping controls were carried out with about 70 per cent  of all controls being carried out "on-the-spot" as opposed to controls during competitions. However, the rising cost of doping controls and analyses may cause problems in the future.

4.6 Prevention of substance abuse in sport

A number of projects aimed at preventing substance abuse and violence in sport has been started over the past few years. The most important among these programmes, "cool and clean", is aimed at young athletes and links sport-specific (performance, fairplay) with health issues (substance abuse, doping). By 2015 about 50'000 young people participated in the programme.

4.7 Sport and social integration

With respet to the foreign population, the study "Sport Switzerland 2014" suggests that foreigners participate considerably less in sports than Swiss citizens. Data on further dimensions of integration in sports should become available in the next few years.

4.8 Environmental impact of sports

Sport affects the natural environment in a number of ways. In co-operation with the Federal Office for the Environment the Sports Observatory has started to measure and estimate different impacts.

Currently, only estimates on the volume and the CO2-emissions of sport-related traffic and events are available. Sports-related traffic is estimated to amount to about 5 to 7 percent of total motorised traffic and to cause CO2-emissions of about 0.8 to 1.2 million tons per year.

4.9 Public perception of sport

Several recent studies suggest that the image of sport is very good in Switzerland. As a result, a vast majoriy of the Swiss population supports the promotion of sport and physical activity.

Observatory Sport and physical activity Switzerland
c/o Lamprecht und Stamm SFB AG, Forchstrasse 212, CH-8032 Zürich
Phone: +41 44 260 67 60, E-Mail: info(at)sportobs.ch