Most Hongkongers are not getting enough exercise because they prefer to watch television in their free time, a survey has found. The government study rated 58 per cent of the adult population as inactive, meaning they did not partake in any moderate or vigorous physical activities. One quarter did not get enough exercise, while only 17 per cent exercised at the recommended level. The results came as no surprise to the Hong Kong Sports Development Board, which commissioned the survey. 'Hong Kong people, like those in other cities, are lazy,' said Tsin Yan-pui, chairman of the board's research sub-committee. 'They know exercising is good for them, but whether they do it is another thing. We can only remind them. We cannot push them into doing it.' Researchers interviewed more than 6,000 households from last October to February. The survey was funded by a $2.75 million grant from the Arts and Sports Development Fund and carried out by ACNielsen. Children surveyed watched a lot of television and did not do enough exercise. Only 19 per cent exercised enough, while 28 per cent were rated as inactive. About half of the children said their favourite leisure activity was watching television. A quarter said they preferred playing video games, followed by sports and physical activities and reading. Half of those interviewed said they did not participate in sports because study and work were more important. But in their spare time, 52 per cent said their favourite pastime was watching television, followed by shopping, sleeping and reading for adults. Sports and physical recreational activities ranked fifth, with only 14 per cent saying that is their favourite activity. Interestingly, more than half of the couch potatoes - 59 per cent - who do not exercise regularly watch sports programmes on television. On an international level, Hong Kong is at the bottom of a five-country list behind Japan, the US, Canada, Australia and leader New Zealand in terms of the number of adults who participate in sports. Adults should walk for 30 minutes a day, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week and 20 minutes of vigorous activity three days a week, according to the World Health Organisation and United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.