CDC Report: 23% of Americans Don’t Exercise Enough

CDC Report: 23% of Americans Don’t Exercise Enough
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In a report released in June 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that only 22.9% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 met the government’s physical activity guidelines between 2010 and 2015. [1]

Those guidelines state that healthy adults should get a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise – or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise – plus 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity per week.

The National Health Statistics Report also showed that total exercise frequency depended in large part on where they lived.

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More people followed the recommended guidelines in 14 states and the District of Columbia than the rest of the country, the report reveals. People living in the West and in New England were most likely to meet those recommendations, particularly Coloradoans and Californians. [1] [2]

Americans living in southern states were least likely to work out, with Mississippi residents getting the least amount of exercise. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky all got significantly less physical activity than the government recommends. [2]

Overall, just 27% of men met fitness guidelines, according to the CDC. Even fewer women met the guidelines – just 18.7%. Working men and women were more likely to get enough exercise compared with non-working men and women – a bit surprising, considering working adults have less free time. [1]

But the CDC data only measures whether people get enough physical activity in their leisure time, so the report doesn’t take into account forms of exercise such as walking to work, though few would consider that moderate intensity physical activity. The authors of the report suspect that may be why New York ranks as low as it does.

Yet, the study also found that the biggest health benefits come from leisure time activity. Physical activity obtained through work doesn’t appear to pack the same punch. For that reason, it’s important to clear out some free time to get your heart pumping.


[1] Business Journal

[2] Men’s Health