In 2003 Forbes first published their list of the 10 healthiest sports, based on a calculation using four physiological components of fitness, plus injury risk and energy expenditure.
Top-10 List of Healthiest Sports
The sport of squash was found to be the healthiest sport, according to Forbes and the calculations based on expert feedback. It is not clear of other sports were also compared and these where the top sports. There are many other sports that should be considered. It is also hard to believe that they rated the injury risk of boxing less than for running and basketball. Anyway, again an interesting exercise, and squash is a worthy winner of the healthiest sport.
|rating||Sport||cardio endurance||strength||muscle endurance||flexibility||calories rating (cal)||injury risk||total|
|3||rock climbing||1||5||4||5||5 (475)||2||22|
|5||cross-country skiing||5||3.5||5||3||2 (345)||2||20.5|
|6||basketball||4||3||5||4||2 ( 302)||1||19|
|7||cycling||5||3||5||4 (or 1?)||4 (431)||1||19 *|
|9||modern pentathlon||4.5||3||5||3||1 (264)||2||18.5|
note: on all published lists, cycling is listed in 7th position. However, using the data supplied by Forbes, their total rating adds up to 22 which would put them in equal second place. We believe that the flexibility score is wrong and should be 1 instead of 4, and the position in the table is correct.
They chose to compare the sports based on four basic physiological components of fitness: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility, which is just a sample of the 15 factors of success in sports. For each component they asked fitness experts (coaches, personal trainers, competitors and exercise physiologists) to rate them on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “excellent,” 4 being “darn good,” 3 being “good,” 2 being “not bad” and 1 being “nothing special.” Injury risk was rated on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being “low,” 2 being “so-so” and 1 being “high.” The energy expenditure rating was based on the calories expended by a 190-pound person over 30 minutes (rates from ACSM), and rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being 450+ calories, 4 being 400-450 calories, 3 being 350-400 calories, 2 being 300-350 calories and 1 being 250-300 calories. Calorie burn; whenever possible, we selected the rate for “moderate” or similar intensity. The scores for each component was tallied to arrive at an individual rating for each sport.
- POLL: What do you think is the world's fittest sport? See our own list of the World's Fittest Sport.
- Discussion about the Fittest Sport?
- The complete lists of factors of success sports rankings.
- Some of the World's Greatest Athletes
- Who is the Greatest Athlete of All Time?
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- Subject smith (2018)
Boxing fitness is way more demanding than squash because it's core and upper body as well as legs. I speak from having done both, as well as other sports.
- Avis tirrell (2018)
How come there's no cheerleading on this list. It exercises your body and you have to be flexible.
- HJ777 (2016)
The idea that rowing uses fewer calories than almost all these other sports is laughable.
- In fact, because it is a power-endurance sport and uses all the major muscle groups it is well established that it has one of the highest energy requirements of any sport.
- TruthHurts (2020)
The author of this article must play squash. A game of squash is more draining than a 12-round boxing fight. A boxer throws about 1500 punches, dodges around 800 punches, all while jogging 10 miles inside a squared-circle........but a game of squash, well that requires almost double the effort. Give me a break. What a joke of article.
- Fareed Ali (2018)
THis list is ah joke yuh mean a sport of squash played by mostly old big belly executives id burns more calories than a guy running nonstop for the same given time This list is totally upsided down
- Rasmus Hilmis Maribo Fareed Ali (2019)
Well could also consider an athlete playing high intense squash, vs. an old big belly executive running 10 km? Ever tried playing"real" squash with a trained player? Probably make you change your mind.
- Ravi teja (2017)
no cricket? coz US won't play it? how biased sports are? all of them are mostly confined to the US. Pity on Forbes
- Fareed Ali ravi teja (2018)
cricket is the worlds laziest sports it wont make the list
- Aaron Tobias (2016)
Swimming is the only sport on here that touches more muscle groups assuming the trainee is doing all 4 strokes. Different combinations of strokes like Butterfly kick with break stroke arms can widen this effect. I get no "runners high" and muscle exertion when I play squash nor feel as empowered as I do after swimming or even soccer (mid-field / forward position) for that matter.
- Gyffes Aaron Tobias (2017)
I dare say you're not playing squash correctly, then.
- Fareed Ali Aaron Tobias (2018)
true this list is made by a squash forbes player bulls
- Aaron Tobias (2016)
Swimming has more than one stroke. I would put strength at 3.5 to 4 for butterfly enthusiasts.
- Fareed Ali Aaron Tobias (2018)
true better we do our real list
- Unlimited (2015)
Where is soccer? BOXING DOES NOT COME BEFORE SOCCER!!!
- Yavor Unlimited (2016)
What I'm thinking is: boxing (compared to all other sports on the list) causes a good amount of brain damage and I see brain health nowhere on the list.
- Fareed Ali Unlimited (2018)
nah soccer have many players and there is many little rest periods and sometimes guys hardly touches the ball and it is one touch but boxing OMG you will blow like a horse it is very demanding get in ah fight and see how long you will last with yuh fat backside