Although the US government’s recommended weekly exercise level for good health is not very rigorous, research shows that Americans are failing to do just 4 hours of exercise every week. The reasons cited for this failure include the predominant car-culture, the costs associated with participating in specific sports, and crime (fear of personal safety). What’s even more odd, it turns out that the national average of 2 hours of exercise per week is actually 3 times higher than the amount exercise Americans were getting in 1965!
Researchers at the University of Maryland and Penn State University carried out this latest research using health statistics gathered by the US government. The official recommended weekly exercise level is 2.5 hours per week of moderate exercise for adults aged 18 to 64 in combination with a simple 1 hour and 15 minutes of rigorous exercise per week as well.
Whats the most popular form of exercise in the US? Walking; 5% of Americans walk an average of 53 minutes per day. In terms of active team sports, Basketball is the most played sport in the country. 1 in 60 Americans shoot hoops on any given day.
If Americans are spending so little time exercising, what are they (we) doing instead? Research into use of free time indicates that people ages 18 to 64 spend more than half of their weekly 35 hours of free time on computers and watching TV. Age is also cited as a potential cause as 13% of the country is over the age of 65. Among age groups, teenagers get the most weekly exercise, and senior citizens the least amount.
The struggling economy is often what makes headlines in public forums looking at the US. But when going over research like this, it seems a bigger problem is hurting the land of the free.
Photo: larryzou@ / flickr