SCOTLAND is trying to shed the 'sick man of Europe' tag, but we don not fancy going outside to do it.

New research shows we are shunning jogging outdoors and favouring indoor activities such as swimming when it comes to keeping fit.

Less than one in five of Scots said they get on their running shoes to keep themselves in shape. Scotland ranks alongside Yorkshire and Humberside in their ambivilence to a wee rin aboot, according to a survey of ten regions of Britain.

With the London Marathon just days away, the research showed that it is folk in Inner and Greater London that had the greatest hunger for running, with more than one in three saying they go jogging to keep fit, with the North East second in the league table with 33per cent into running.

And while being home to one of Britain's most successful Olympian, cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, Scotland ranks midtable when it comes to outdoor cycling for fitness purposes. Some 12per cent of Scots go road cycling, lagging behind the East Midlands which top the participation league table with 16per cent.

And Scots rank poorly when it comes to spinning or static cycling with just 3per cent taking part, behind folk in the North East (7per cent) who had the greatest appetite for excerise bikes.

Last month a report by Cycling Scotland said there has been a 32per cent increase in the volume of cycling since 2003.

The 2014 keep fit market research by Mintel indicated Scots preferred to do their exercise indoors.

While walking, like the rest of the UK, is Scotland's fitness activity of choice with 40per cent taking part, indoor swimming is the second most favoured keep fit pastime. Perhaps inspired by the exploits of Ross Murdoch who won 200m breaststroke gold at the Commonwealth Games, some 30per cent of Scots say they take to the pool to keep fit, ranking second in the regional swimming league table only to Inner and Greater London (35per cent).

David Walmsley, senior leisure analyst said that Scots seem to be keener on indoor fitness activities.

"Our research suggests Scots are more likely than average to take part in in-home and individual fitness activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle, because their family and friends do so or just for fun.

"That means they may see activities like swimming as more in tune with these motivations than running.

"Exercise preferences are influenced by everything from participation costs and facility provision to general levels of health, personal motivation and even the weather or climate, so it's likely that a combination of these factors is shaping Scots' habits.

"Scots are actually slightly more likely than average to take part in individual fitness activities generally - 69per cent have done so during the past year - but they appear to prefer to do other things than run or jog.

"If you look at swimming, for example, it's only in London that past-year participation rates are higher than those seen in Scotland."

And sportscotland said the reluctance for running does not mean Scots are shunning sport.

A sportscotland spokesperson said: "Overall memberships of Scottish governing bodies of sport are rising. The Active Schools network is showing record levels of participant sessions across Scotland, the number of qualified coaches has significantly increased, and we have more than 85,000 individual members at more than 800 clubs in 137 community sport hubs across the country.

"Last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles helped raise the profile of sport and there are a number of indicators suggesting that hosting those events, and the strategy that we and our partners implemented to capitalise on them, is having a positive impact."

Across the UK, while one in four (24per cent) Brits are runners, it is walking which leads the way in terms of keep fit participation, with four in ten (39per cent) Brits walking for fitness. Walking is particularly popular with women (44per cent), while just over a third (35per cent) of men walk for fitness

Overall, almost seven in ten (67per cent) Brits have taken part in some kind of in-home and individual fitness activity in the past 12 months. On the whole, fitness activity participants are strongly committed, the majority of those taking part in all activities bar swimming doing so at least once a week.

The market for in-home and individual fitness is worth a healthy £1.2 billion, sales having increased an impressive 28per cent in the past five years, up from £932 million in 2009.

Within the market, sales of bikes (£438 million) take the top spot, followed by running shoes at £315 million, swimming fees at £300 million, fitness equipment at £127 million and DVDs and downloads at £11 million.