Why Danes love swimming more than you think

They’re known for getting plenty of exercise on their bicycles, but Danes are just as home in the water.

Why Danes love swimming more than you think
Photo: cookelma/Depositphotos

Swimming pools in Denmark were visited over 34 million times in 2018, according to a new survey.

The Danish Swimming Technical Association (Dansk Svømmebadsteknisk Forening, DSF) found that the country’s swimming pools had 34.5 million guests last year.

That gives a clear idea of the role the activity plays in the country’s leisure and exercise habits, according to the association.

“We have always wanted overall, national figures on how many people visit Danish swimming pools. The 34.5 million-figure is testament to the fact that Danes love going swimming, and we are of course very happy about that,” DSF chairperson Lars Norring said in a press statement.

“Additionally, the study shows that members of the public [non-members of swimming centres or gyms, ed.] are by far the largest group of visitors. In our view, that is extremely relevant in relation to how we can structure what is offered by swimming pools, and how to provide the best service we can in future,” Norring added.

In the period from November 2018 until March 2019, DSF carried out a survey at 344 swimming facilities in Denmark, taking into account the various types of facilities and visitors.

Whilst giving an overall idea of the type of guests who use the facilities most frequently, the collected data also provided an estimate of the total number of times swimming pools were used.

READ ALSO: Cycling can result in 267,000 fewer sick days: Danish analysis

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New Year’s Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark

The number of people treated for fireworks-related injuries on New Year's Eve in Denmark has bounced back to normal levels, with 16 people treated for eye injuries after the celebrations.

New Year's Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark
Fireworks led to 16 eye injuries on New Year's Eve. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

This is up from the unusually low 12 people who were treated for eye injuries during and after the celebrations last year. Two of this year’s injuries are sufficiently severe that the injured are expected to lose their sight completely or partially.

“After a very quiet evening last year, it is back to a normal, average level,” Ulrik Correll Christensen, head doctor at the ophthalmology department at Rigshospitalet, told the country’s Ritzau newswire. “It is a completely extraordinary situation at the eye departments on New Year’s Eve. It is not at all something we see on a daily basis.” 

Christensen has tallied up reports from all of Denmark’s eye units, including the major ones in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Næstved. 

He said that 15 out of the 16 cases had not worn safety goggles, two thirds were between ten and thirty years old. 

“The most important thing is to follow the advice when firing fireworks. Wear safety goggles and keep a good distance,” he said. 

The number of ambulance call outs on New Year’s Eve is also back to normal, with 1,188 emergency vehicles sent out, compared to 875 last year. 

In the Capital Region of Copenhagen, there were 44 call-outs were related to fireworks, of which 16 were for hand injuries and 14 for eye injuries.