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Only Five Percent of Americans Are Active Every Day, Study Says

Most Americans Aren't Active on Most Days — Are You?

A new study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine is pretty disheartening: only five percent of American adults do some sort of physical activity on any given day. Nearly 80,000 American adults, age 20 and older, were surveyed over a four-year period in a national telephone poll. The survey was pretty simple; participants were asked to share the details of the prior 24 hours, and the results indicate that most American adults aren't getting up that much.

The most dominant activities that the participants reported were eating and drinking (95.6 percent) and watching TV (80.1 percent) — hopefully not together! And while light activities like home maintenance fared OK (around 20 percent), vigorous activity like hitting the gym or going for a run wasn't really happening amongst the 80,000 participants. I'm hoping that they caught most of the 80,000 participants on a rest day, but with the nation's obesity problem on the rise, my gut says this may be more accurate than not. Where do you fall in this poll?

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Join The Conversation
totygoliguez totygoliguez 5 years
I used to be, but I've been slacking. However, I walk a lot so I've been able to maintain my weight.
cotedazur cotedazur 5 years
I try to move around as much as possible... I usually work out at least 5 times per week for about an hour, and on days when I don't get in my actual "work out," I'll try to go for a walk, do jumping jacks instead of sitting on the couch while I watch TV, or work in the garden. I really think it's important to get in at least some kind of activity, if only to stay sane!
LeiraElle LeiraElle 5 years
It depends on the weather: if its nice, I ride my bike 7 miles each day to and from work. If its rainy, my biggest activity is the walk from the parking garage to my office. I make an effort to get in a yoga class 2-3 times a week, but it doesn't always happen.
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 5 years
It depends on what time of year for me. Most of the time I work out 4-5 times a week (never 6.. you people are crazy). If I'm tired/busy/lethargic, it's 3 times a week, never less. But when I eventually get to the gym or start running outside, I usually overdo it because I feel so guilty for missing the other days. So it's almost like I"m trying to fit 2 days of working out in 1 .. does anyone ever do that besides me? I'll do like 70-80 minutes cardio (combination of running, elliptical, bike) then weight-training. or sometimes bikram yoga and a short run afterward. I'm not really that surprised about the America stat.. I'm a high school teacher and the vast majority of my kids hate exercise and PE. Then I think of the adults in my family, and only two of my aunts/uncles work out that I know of. My mom just cleans the house a lot and goes for walks once in a blue moon :)
Spectra Spectra 5 years
Oh wow, no wonder so many people are overweight! I work out 6 or 7 days a week for at least an hour, plus I do strength training 4 times a week. I feel like a slug if I skip a day, so "days off" are pretty rare for me, actually.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
I was training 10-15 hours a week for the Ironman, but now that the race is over and I'm 9+ months pregnant, I've been trying to hit 200-250 minutes of exercise/ week in the form of walking, weights, swimming, or the ET.
amber512 amber512 5 years
On days I hit the gym I'm usually just active during that time. I do a lot of writing, typing and reading, and I prefer to do all of that on my rear! lol
Soniabonya Soniabonya 5 years
I try to be active everyday whether it be walking for at least 30 minutes a day, yoga or taking a class at the gym. Since it's my last week at the gym, I'm squeezing all I can out of it. :( I still plan on working out to DVDs at home and *gulp* running outside. I'd rather get a new bike to hit the trails, but can't afford to do so, so might as well use what is free. I do have a desk job, but I try to keep busy and not sit all day. I also try to stand for some time when painting at the studio. Luckily, that place is a hamster maze and has stairs so I get some cardio running around there too :)
Marshmelly411 Marshmelly411 5 years
Wow you guys are really commendable! (especially the 6 days a week for an hour!). I try to do 5 days a week for 30 mins, but a lot of weeks it ends up being around 3 days unfortunately...though that sounds like its still more than those who were polled in this survey. @stellaRuby your dog is adorable :)
stellaRuby stellaRuby 5 years
I am active about 5-6 days a week. I am training for a half marathon, so on my off days I am usually pretty off. I also try to take the dogs for a walk everyday, but sometimes that does not happen.
imLissy imLissy 5 years
I exercise for an hour six days a week and then try not to sit on my butt all day the 7th day. I get up and walk around a lot too. I'm not very good at sitting still. Only 5% is pretty sad. I would have hoped the number would be at least 20%
ticamorena ticamorena 5 years
yes, i am active most days i.e. i work out 6 days a week, go out on cycling excursions or long walks etc 2-3 days a week, but i still feel sedentary compared to they physically demanding lifestyle i had growing up as a kid in southern africa & central america, where everything invloved manaul labour and very little time was spent at a desk, or a sofa etc
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