When you look at the health and fitness market, the latest research shows that nearly 30% of US residents are inactive. The result isn’t great, however if you look at year on year increases things are definitely improving.
We’ve compiled some of the most shocking fitness statistics to show you who is moving, how they’re moving and how the US stacks up against other countries around the world.
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Table of contents
Key statistics on fitness: infographic
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Survival of the Fittest: Fitness Stats by Demographic
Men vs Women
When it comes to the battle of the sexes, there are definite differences in the types of exercise men and women enjoy, and differing motivating factors.
In terms of who is coming out on top, research found that men (54%) are more likely than women (46%) to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic activity when you look at the female fitness statistics.
Appearance and seeing physical changes is the most motivating factor for physical exercise for both men and women.
According to the latest statistics, less than 30% of high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, however they are performing better than their adult counterparts.
North vs South
Where you live in the country seems to make a difference to how active you are, with those living in South for example Virginia, Tennessee and Mississippi doing less exercise than those in the North for example Utah, Maine and Ohio – according to participation statistics.
Exercise Makes Cents
There seems to be a gap between those in higher income and lower income households when it comes to physical activity.
Research shows that households with a lower income have the lowest activity rates, with nearly half being inactive in 2016. Households with an income of over $50,000 in comparison had a higher activity rate, however they show a decrease in activity over the last three years.
Wondering how different cities in the US stack up against each other? Well using data gathered by Fitbit, the following cities topped the fit list!
- Duluth, Minnesota
- Appleton, Wisconsin
- Eau Claire, Wisconsin
- Boulder, Colorado
- Bellingham, Washington
Though it may seem like the US is a fairly inactive nation, it certainly isn’t the worst offender!
In fact, in a piece of research, the US was way down at 46th place with Malta leading the way as the most inactive country in the global fitness statistics.
Keep on Running: Fitness Stats by Type of Exercise
So the US is keeping moving in many different ways, with over 54 million registered health club members and even more doing exercise at home, people are choosing a variety of different ways to keep fit according to the latest health and fitness statistics.
Most Popular Ways to Stay Active – Workout Statistics
Walking is the most popular way that people choose to stay active in the US, with 117 million people choosing this as the way to get moving, closely followed by running and jogging both outside and on the treadmill. Here are the top ten activities to stay active in the US:
- Walking for Fitness
- Free Weights (Hand Weights)
- Cycling (Road/Paved Surface)
- Weight/Resistance Machines
Taking the HIIT
One of the biggest fitness trends in the US is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
According to the latest journal published by the American College of Sports Medicine, it has grown in popularity since 2014, and receives mixed reviews from experts in terms of its effectiveness.
In terms of other trends, The American College of Sports Medicine each year has published the top 20 trends in Fitness, here are the top 10 of these trends for 2017:
- Wearable Technology
- Body Weight Training
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
- Strength Training
- Group Training
- Exercise is Medicine
- Personal Training
- Exercise and Weight Loss
Talking About My Generation
When it comes to different generations the top ways to stay active remain the same, however studies show the older generations are much less interested in water sports than the Millennials, however much more focussed on fitness activities such as aerobics.
No Pain No Gain: Fitness Stats by Frequency
The Clock is Ticking
The average amount of time spent exercising each day, for those aged over 15 who exercise regularly, is between 30 and 59 minutes.
Don’t Sweat It: Fitness Stats by Motivation
Ahead of the Competition
A recent study identified competition as the leading motivator for exercise. Part of the study compared competition to online support, however competition certainly led the way in terms of getting people moving!
You Are What You Eat: Fitness Stats by Nutrition
When it comes to nutrition, the US is widely recognised as one of the most obese places in the world to live according to the latest data.
It is believed that 30.4% of US adults aged 20 and older are obese, a figure which is growing year on year showing on an ongoing trend.
All the Gear and a Big Idea: Fitness Stats by Tracking Tools
Wearable technology and smartphone tracking tools are one of the biggest changes to the world of exercise. See below how the fitness app statistics stack up.
You Wear It Well
The wearables market has grown quickly, with sales exceeding $2 billion in 2015, and the market is expected to triple by 2018! Fitbit currently holds the largest market share closely followed by Apple.
Exercise? There’s An App For That
There are over 8,000 health and fitness apps available on the market, and it’s believed that just over half of mobile phone users in the US have downloaded a fitness app at some point.
According to market intelligence organization SimilarWeb, here are the top 10 of the most popular health and fitness apps available in the marketplace:
- Running for Weight Loss: Workout & Meal Plans
- My Fitness Pal
- Flo Period Tracker
- Fitness for Weight Loss: Personalized Workout Plan
- Aaptiv: #1 Audio Fitness App
- 8fit – Workouts, meal planner and personal trainer
- Clue Period Tracker: Period & Ovulation Tracker
- Calm: Meditation to Relax, Focus & Sleep Better
- Sweat: Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Fitness Workouts
Money: Fitness Stats by Cost
Staying fit comes at a cost, with the US spending over $10 billion on fitness equipment in 2015.
Over half of the sales are believed to have come from cardiovascular fitness equipment including treadmills and steppers.
The global health and fitness club industry generated an estimated revenue of $83.15 billion in 2015.
- Physical Activity Council (2017) 2017 Participation Report. [Online] Available from: http://www.physicalactivitycouncil.com/pdfs/current.pdf [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Herrmann, L. K. (2012) Fitness and Fitting In: An Exploratory Study of Gender and Exercise. [Online] Available from: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/34301/Herrmann_Lynn.pdf [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Lippa, D.J. (2011) The Effect of Gender on Fitness Motivational Factors: An Examination of St. John Fisher College Undergraduate Students. [Online] Available from: http://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1026&context=sport_undergrad [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Norton, A. (2016) 9 out of 10 teens don’t get enough exercise. [Online] Available from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/teens-dont-get-enough-exercise/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Shim, E. (2013) The Most Healthy State in America Is…. [Online] Available from: https://mic.com/articles/77673/the-most-healthy-state-in-america-is#.IiQklbKzG [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Physical Activity Council (see footnote 1) ↩
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) Adult Participation in Aerobic and Muscle-Strengthening Physical Activities — United States, 2011. [Online] Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a2.htm [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Kosecki, D. (2017) A New Champion Has Been Crowned: Check Out 2017’s Fittest Cities!. [Online] Available from: https://blog.fitbit.com/fittest-cities-in-america/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Fung, B. (2012) 45 Countries That Are More Sedentary Than the United States. [Online] Available from: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/45-countries-that-are-more-sedentary-than-the-united-states/259989/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- PHIT America (2014) Top 10 Athletic Activities In The USA. [Online] Available from: http://www.phitamerica.org/News_Archive/Top_10.htm [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Thompson, W. R. (2016) Worldwide Survey Of Fitness Trends For 2017. [Online] Available from: http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2016/11000/WORLDWIDE_SURVEY_OF_FITNESS_TRENDS_FOR_2017.6.aspx [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Physical Activity Council (see footnote 1) ↩
- Physical Activity Council (see footnote 1) ↩
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2008) Sports and Exercise. [Online] Available from: https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2008/sports/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Sharpe, L. (2014) Vermont No. 1 in Frequent Exercise, Produce Consumption. [Online] Available from: http://www.gallup.com/poll/167645/vermont-no-frequent-exercise-produce-consumption.aspx [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Kravitz, L. (2010) What Motivates People to Exercise?. [Online] Available from: http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/what-motivates-people-to-exercise [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Epstein, Z. (2016) CDC study finds America has never been more obese. [Online] Available from: http://bgr.com/2016/05/26/obesity-statistics-2016-americans-overweight-cdc/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (2016) Dietary Guidelines. [Online] Available from: https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietary-guidelines [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Statista (2017) Forecast market value wearable devices worldwide 2012-2018. [Online] Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/302482/wearable-device-market-value/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Statista (2017) Wearables shipments worldwide market share by vendor 2014-2016. [Online] Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/435944/quarterly-wearables-shipments-worldwide-market-share-by-vendor/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Marr, B. (2016) 15 Noteworthy Facts About Wearables In 2016. [Online] Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2016/03/18/15-mind-boggling-facts-about-wearables-in-2016/#7e1155302732 [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Krebs, P. & Duncan, D.T. (2015) Health App Use Among US Mobile Phone Owners: A National Survey. [Online] Available from: http://mhealth.jmir.org/2015/4/e101/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Kosecki, D. (see footnote 8) ↩
- WorldLifestyle (2017) How much does fitness cost?. [Online] Available from: http://www.worldlifestyle.com/health-fitness/how-much-does-fitness-cost [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩
- Statista (2017) Health & Fitness Clubs. [Online] Available from: https://www.statista.com/topics/1141/health-and-fitness-clubs/ [Accessed 17 July 2017]. ↩