Most Americans Don't Get Daily Exercise

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Only 5% reported vigorous physical activity within preceding 24-hour period, researchers found

SATURDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Only about 5 percent of American adults do some type of vigorous physical activity on any given day, according to the results of a new study.

Researchers analyzed 2003-2008 data from nearly 80,000 participants, aged 20 and older, in the American Time Use Survey, a national telephone-based poll that asked people what they did in the preceding 24 hours.

Most respondents reported sedentary activities such as eating and drinking (95.6 percent) and watching television/movies (80.1 percent), or light activities such as washing, dressing and grooming (78.9 percent), and driving a car, truck or motorcycle (71.4 percent).

The most frequently reported moderate activities were food and drink preparation (25.7 percent) and lawn, garden and houseplant care (10.6 percent), lead investigator Catrine Tudor-Locke, director of the Walking Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and colleagues found.

Only 5 percent of respondents reported vigorous physical activities, including using cardiovascular exercise equipment (2.2 percent) and running (1.1 percent).

The survey findings are published online and in the October print issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"On any given day, most U.S. adults reported performing predominantly sedentary and light activities. The greatest prevalence for reported moderate activities was food and drink preparation for both men (12.8 percent) and women (37.6 percent)," the authors wrote in the report.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines recommended levels of physical activity.

-- Robert Preidt
Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
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