The health and fitness industry is making a resurgence. With the rise in chronic illness and disease in the first world countries, many more adults are starting to see the importance of exercise. Physicians are even being encouraged to prescribe exercise as medicine.
Even beyond a health standpoint, most of us have a newfound interest in achieving the physique of our dreams. With the spread of information across the world, thanks to the internet, it is now easier than ever to engage in effective and proper health and exercise routines.
Don’t believe us? Well here are 35 interesting exercise facts and statistics that will help encourage you to get active.
The Top 5 Eye-Opening Exercise Statistics
- Wearable technology is the leading trend in exercise.
- Only 10% of people are successfully losing weight through diet alone.
- College graduates are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines than those without.
- Nearly 50% of U.S. adults may be obese by 2030.
- Engaging in regular exercise can lower your risk of disease by up to 50%.
Statistics About Physical Activity
Only 30% of Adults Perform the Recommended Amount of Weekly Physical Exercise
U.S adults live busy lives. With full-time careers, spouses, children, and social lives to upkeep, it can be difficult to find time to exercise. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one third of adults don’t get enough recommended exercise. Similarly, not even 5% of adults engage in 30 minutes of daily physical exercise.
Physical Activity Has Risen 31.9%
Despite lack of exercise among the majority of adults, the target going into 2020 was a rise of 20.1% but Healthy People has reported a rise of 31.9% of adults (age 18 and older) who now meet the guidelines for daily aerobic and strength training activities.
Though the level of active adults is rising quickly, a quarter of all adults still engage in no physical activity at all.
High-intensity Interval Training is the Most Popular Form of Training
In a survey performed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), high intensity interval training has maintained its no. 1 ranking as the preferred form of training among adults.
Group fitness training, free weights, personal training and bodyweight training round out the top 5 methods of preferred training.
Wearable Technology is the Leading Trend in Exercise
Chasing down the physical benefits alongside the extended health benefits of exercise has created a new line of technology that allows us to measure these items in numerous ways.
From watches that track minutes, calories and heart rate to step counters and beyond, wearable technology brought in an estimated $95 billion in 2019.
America Has 34,000 Fitness Centers
The United States is leading the world in the number of fitness centers and this number continues to grow daily.
With the emergence of newer exercise forms in the past 5 years (like CrossFit, Orange Theory, and Soul Cycle) it seems like a new center is opening up on every corner. Take your pick or try them all; your options will just continue to grow.
Walking is the Most Common Gym Activity
Not all gym-goers visit a health club to get “jacked.” Data reported by the IHRSA found that most members spend their time walking compared with any other activity. Similarly, the most popular piece of fitness equipment in the gym is the treadmill followed by strength training machines.
Over 12% of Gym Members Use a Personal Trainer
For many people, performing quality exercise isn’t a second language. In many cases, learning to follow a workout routine safely and efficiently can be challenging, but made easier with guidance from a certified professional. That’s probably why 12% of gym members use a personal trainer when they hit the gym.
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Nutritional Support Statistics
Americans Consume Too Much Saturated Fats, Processed Grains, Sodium, Added Sugars, and Solid Fats
As much as we’d like exercise to be the only driving force in building muscle and achieving better health, it’s not. Good nutrition plays just as big of a role, if not bigger. Unfortunately the average American diet exceeds recommended intakes for saturated fats, sodium, refined grains, and calories from added sugars and solid fats.
Empty Calories Make Up About 40% of Total Daily Calories Consumed by Children and Teens
For 2-18 year olds, about 40% of their total daily calories are “empty” calories from solid fats and added sugars. And about 50% of these calories come from dairy desserts, fruit drinks, grain desserts, pizza, soda, and whole milk.
U.S. Total Medical Costs Could Reduce by $20 Billion if People Consumed Less Sodium
High sodium foods are deeply ingrained in the typical American diet despite its heavily-researched consequences of consuming in excess. For example, routinely consuming excess sodium can put you at risk for kidney disease, stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, and stomach cancer. If Americans reduced their daily sodium intake by about 1200 mg, they could save up to $20 billion in yearly medical costs.
U.S. Adults Consume Nearly 1.5x More Sodium than is Recommended Per Day
With more Americans finding it difficult to choose healthier food options on a daily basis, it becomes more commonplace to consume readily available processed foods, prepared with more salt and sodium. It’s common for U.S. adults to consume around 3,500 mg of sodium per day, much higher than the recommended 2,300 mg.
Only 10% of People Are Successful at Losing Weight Through Diet Alone
Achieving your dream physique or overcoming chronic health problems with nutrition alone is a daunting task that requires immense amounts of discipline and dedication.
Diet centers and proven plans have recognized this level of commitment and how it can hinder a clients’ success; now many of the popular “diet” companies incorporate exercise to aid clients with weight loss.
Exercise Demographic Statistics
Men Have Two-thirds More Muscle Mass Than Women
It’s no surprise that men can pack on the pounds better than women, but this shouldn’t deter a woman from strength training. Though a female’s body doesn’t carry as much muscle mass, it’s still imperative to maintain strength and stability to combat the effects of aging or injury.
About 54% of Men Meet the 2008 Physical Guidelines for aerobic activity
Aerobic activity is, of course, important for both genders to participate in since it reduces the risk of serious conditions like stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. And in accordance with the 2008 Physical Guidelines for aerobic activity, 54% of men and 46% of women meet these requirements.
College Graduates Are More Likely to Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines Than Those Without
For adults who didn’t even have a high school diploma, only 12% are likely to meet the muscle-strengthening and aerobic guidelines. Compare this with college graduates who are 27.4% likely to meet the guidelines.
Muscle Mass Diminishes at the Rate of 1% a Year in Middle Age
We all know it is harder to gain and maintain muscle mass as we get older. Muscle tissue starts to deteriorate by the time we are in our thirties. Though it is only a small amount at first, this can still be combated by regular exercise.
Whether you’ve hit those later years or not, start building mass and strength now to help minimize this effect of aging as you get older.
Higher Income Households Are More Active
Recently, the promotion of at-home exercise has trended upward, but getting your recommended daily exercise at the gym has historically been the “go-to” solution. According to the Physical Activity Council, 16% of households earning at least $100,000 were inactive in 2018 compared with 47% of households earning less than $25,000 in the same year.
Obesity Statistics and Lack of Exercise
Over 90 Million People in the U.S. are Obese
Despite the surging popularity of exercise in recent years, obesity is still a major problem among children and adults in America. Data provided by the CDC in 2009-2010 reports that 12.5 million adolescents and children as well as 78 million adults are obese.
Nearly 50% of U.S. Adults May Be Obese by 2030
This is probably one of the most depressing projections on this list, but it’s possible that the United States continues to lose the ongoing battle with widespread obesity by 2030. In fact, published research suggests that 115 million adults (or about half of all adult U.S. citizens) will be obese by then.
Overweight Children Are More Likely to Be Overweight or Obese as Adults
Just like anything else in life, it’s important to establish good, healthy habits as soon as possible. Training your brain to eat healthier and participate in routine exercise is much easier to accomplish as a child versus an adult. The Journal of the American Medical Association finds that children who are overweight have a 70% chance of being overweight or obese as adults.
Obesity Rates Are Higher for People With Disabilities
Having a poor diet is definitely a contributor to obesity, but so is lack of exercise and if individuals are physically incapable of performing routine exercise, maintaining a healthy weight can be even more challenging. This can partially explain why the rate of obesity is 38% higher for children with disabilities and 57% higher in adults with disabilities.
There Are 32 States With an Adult Obesity Rate Greater Than 25%
In the early 1970s, obesity was still a rarity among adults and the number of recorded states with an adult obesity rate over 25% was essentially zero. Contrast that with data from 2007-2008 showing that 32 U.S. states have reached this obesity threshold.
Physical Exercise Benefits
Engaging in Regular Exercise Can Lower Your Risk of Disease by Up to 50%
We all know the importance of activity, but did you know expenses tied directly to obesity cost the United States over $190 billion dollars in 2019 alone? This is just one condition that can be overcome by exercising.
Incorporating a regular exercise routine allows you to decrease body fat percentage considerably, cut your risk of type 2 diabetes in half, reduce the risk of dementia by 30%, and lower the chances of heart disease by 20%.
Over 60% of Physically Active Adults Report Better Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is getting harder in a world filled with fast approaching deadlines and more screens than we can carry. The advancement of technology has pushed humans to work for longer hours over more days throughout the year.
Once work is over we then have to find time for family, friends, exercise, preparing food… Sleep gets pushed to the bottom of the list. If you are short on sleep, then quality plays an even bigger role.
The National Sleep Foundation found that those who engage in vigorous activity (even if it is right before bed) will experience an increase in sleep quality, leaving you feeling more refreshed when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning.
Lack of Physical Activity Increases the Risk of Premature Death
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that physical inactivity is one of the major contributors to premature mortality. Statistics on sedentary lifestyles reveal that lack of physical activity increases your risk of death by up to 30%.
Alternatively, statistics show that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by 9 years or more.
Exercise Can Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer
About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and over 42,000 women are expected to die from this cancer in 2020. However, taking up regular physical activity can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 20%.
Exercise Can Reduce the Risk of Depression
Depression is a mental health condition that affects millions of adults every year. It’s estimated that 17.3 million U.S. adults experienced at least one depressive episode in 2017.
However, it’s been medically proven that people who exercise regularly can reduce stress and have a 30% lower risk of being depressed.
Plus the cognitive benefits of physical activity bleed into other areas of your life. For example, exercise has been shown to boost work productivity and decision-making skills.
It Takes the Body 6-8 Weeks to Adapt to an Exercise Program
For those chasing the specific goals of lifting X amount of weight or shredding to a certain body fat percentage you must understand it takes the body time to adjust to a new exercise plan.
If you don’t see results in the first week or two that’s ok. Take your time and stop jumping from plan to plan. The results will come.
People Who Work Out With a Partner Are More Likely to Stick to Their Routine
Having a partner creates accountability. In a study performed at the University of Aberdeen, those who worked out with a partner engaged in exercise longer and more frequently.
Statistics show that having a workout partner can enhance your fitness journey. As an added bonus, people who worked out with their significant others also have a higher likelihood of staying together.
January Accounts for 12% of All New Gym Memberships
When the holidays end and the new year rolls around, it’s common for people to create resolutions as a simple way to set self-improvement goals. Since weight loss and general fitness are common topics for New Year’s resolutions, January is typically the most profitable month for gyms with around 12% of new memberships started in this time.
About 80% of Gym Members That Join in January Quit Going Within 5 Months
According to a 2012 study conducted by Coupon Cabin, 80% of new gym members that start in January stop going by the end of June. About 4% actually quit in the first month, but 14% manage to hang on until the end of February.
Location is the Reason 50% of Gym Members Keep Going to the Gym
There are a number of factors that can influence someone to visit the gym including their schedule, physical health, personal goals, family commitments, and more. Surprisingly, 50% of current gym members report that the reason they keep showing up is because of the location.
Lying About Visiting the Gym is Common
A survey conducted by Kettler revealed that 13% of gym members reported going to the gym when they actually didn’t. This isn’t too surprising since leading a fitness lifestyle tends to bring some societal bragging rights and with over 100 million users on Instagram sharing the details of their daily lives, failing to hit the gym when you made a promise to your subscribers might put you in the social media doghouse.
Performing regular physical activity is medically proven to reduce the risk of developing certain major health conditions. For example, regular exercise can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by up to 35%, type 2 diabetes by up to 50%, and colon cancer by up to 50%.
Single race, white Caucasians were most likely to report having exercised at least 3x per week (58.1%) compared against all other races and ethnicities according to a 2005 statistical brief published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Black non-Hispanics or Latinos followed with 49.2% reporting the same exercise frequency.
Thirty minutes of exercise can be just as effective at helping overweight adults lose weight according to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology. The study found that 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise produced similar weight loss results compared to 60 minutes of high aerobic exercise in overweight men.
Exercise Facts & Statistics Summary
In whatever year you’re starting, make a commitment to stick to an exercise routine. Find a partner and try some new forms of exercise or grab a fitness tracker and challenge your significant other to a step off.
Engaging in regular exercise will allow you to enhance body composition, decrease your risk of illness, combat muscle loss and the effects of aging, and help you sleep better at night. The new year and new you are just around the corner.
- Healthy People
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- University of Aberdeen
- National Sleep Foundation
- First Research
- Health and economic burden of the projected obesity trends in the USA and the UK
- JAMA Network
- Mayo Clinic
- Gym Membership Statistics
- Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
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