Exercising Statistics

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Exercising statistics can sometimes be confusing, depending on where you find the information. When seeking health and fitness statistics, make sure you look into reputable agencies and organizations, not companies who are trying to sell a product.

Exercising Statistics to Consider

You don't have to work in the fitness industry to be interested in exercising statistics. You may be looking for information to help you live a healthier lifestyle. In some cases, statistics will help you see if you're on the right path for staying fit and healthy. Consider these exercising statistics found at government and other trusted websites. All of these statistics are from U.S. based studies and focus on the American population:

  • Unfortunately, some statistics show that people of all ages aren't getting enough exercise, which is leading to an alarming obesity problem. Data conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between the years 1976-1980 and 2003-2006 clearly demonstrate that obesity levels have risen:
    • The prevalence for obesity for children ages two to five years-old increased from 5.0 percent to 12.4 percent.
    • Kids ages six to eleven showed an obesity prevalence increase from 6.5 percent to 17.0 percent.
    • Young people ages 12-19 showed an obesity prevalence increase from 5.0 percent to 17.6 percent.
  • In the U.S., different areas of the country show different activity levels. People in the Pacific region are more active, with approximately 50 percent of the population more likely to engage in some type of exercise on any given day than people in the South Central parts of the country.
  • The higher the education level, the higher the incidence of exercise. People aged 25 years and up with a bachelor degree or higher were twice as likely to engage in sports and fitness activities than people with a high school diploma or less (2003-2006 study).
  • About 30 percent of people aged 15 and older choose walking as a form of regular exercise, making this activity the most popular.
  • While the vast majority (96 percent) of football participants are male, Yoga and aerobics have heavier female participation.
  • Exercise may help prolong your life: people who engage in physical activity for 7 hours per week have a 40 percent lower chance of dying early than people who are active for less than 30 minutes a week.
  • 29 percent of people ages 15 and older typically spend between 30 and 59 minutes exercising on an average day, making this time frame the most popular. The next highest percentage (25 percent) exercised for one to one hour and 29 minutes.
  • Exercising statistics can also track trends. In 1990, 23.3 percent of the population engaged in regular exercise. By 1999, the percentage dropped to 20.5. In 2002, however, things were looking up as 35 percent of the population took part in exercise and fitness activities.
  • There was a significant increase in the number of women willing to work with free weights. Between 1990 and 1999, the percentage jumped 134 percent, from 8.3 million to 19.4 million. This huge jump probably has a lot to do with fitness education - women who once thought working out with weights would make them bulky discovered that wasn't true. Weights help tone the body and burn more calories due to increasing muscle mass.

Using Statistics

What do these exercising statistics mean to you? Maybe you can use them as educational and motivational tools. If you find yourself falling into a negative data group (such as being among the increasing obesity epidemic), consider changing your eating and exercise habits to get you out of that group. You can become part of the statistical average that engages in fitness on a regular basis instead.

Numbers can be helpful to government agencies, insurance companies and the fitness industry, but ultimately, you should be concerned more with your individual numbers like weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, to make sure you're living the healthiest life possible.

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Exercising Statistics