Based on some new data collected by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, only a quarter of the US adult population exercise as much as they should in their free time, taking into consideration both muscle-strengthening and aerobic types of exercise.
How much should you exercise?
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, you should engage in minimum two hours and a half of moderate exercise every week, or about 75 minutes of strenuous exercise, if you want to put more effort. This physical activity should also be accompanied by various exercises that can strengthen your muscles, at least two times a week. This is the recommendation for people aged between 18 and 64.
Back in 2010, the department created the Healthy People 2020 project, whose purpose was to observe if a goal of 20.1% of adults meeting the above mentioned guidelines before 2020 would be achievable. This Thursday, a report that was published by CDC shows that the goal was actually surpassed by 2.8%. However, as stated by Tainya Clarke, one of the authors of the report and a health statistician, it looks like there are certain differences based on the states from which the participants are. Not only that, but “sociodemographic factors” also seem to matter.
Colorado residents exercise more than people from other states
One state that was mentioned was Colorado, where people seem to engage in more physical activity than in other states, with as much as 32.5% of adults exceeding the objective. There were 13 more states that also surpassed the goal, as well as the District of Columbia, whereas 13 other states, and Mississippi in particular, had a much lower score than the average percentage, with only 13.5% of people meeting the guidelines.
Apparently, several of the states that had higher percentages had people who were actively engaged in leisure activities. Many of these states have colder weather, such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Colorado. So the results were actually contrary to the belief that warm states should give more opportunities for people to go outside, running or biking for example. Also, based on the gender, 28.8% of men and 20.9% of women met the guidelines nationally.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca