Monday, May 19, 2008

Only 16 Percent Exercise

Here is the latest nugget from the American Time Use Survey: only 16 percent of Americans exercise on an average day.

The time use survey, which started in 2003, records the minute-by-minute activities of a representative sample of Americans on an average day. Now that the survey has collected four years worth of data, analysts at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are combining years and coming up with a large enough sample size to reliably examine activities in which few Americans engage. Unfortunately, exercise is one of those infrequent activities. Here are a few of the highlights from the Sports and Exercise study, which examines data from 2003 through 2006.

• Among the 25 activities included in the time use survey, walking is most popular among exercisers (30 percent), followed by weightlifting (13 percent), using cardiovascular equipment (13 percent), swimming (8 percent), and running (7 percent).

• Women account for 57 percent of walkers, 42 percent of runners.

• People under age 25 account for 7 percent of walkers and 31 percent of runners.

• More than half of those exercising (52 percent) did so alone.

Source: Spotlight on Statistics: Sports and Exercise

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