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Most Americans, especially those who are poor, not exercising enough, data finds

Closeup image of gym interior
Posted at 9:59 AM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 11:52:12-04

It is no secret that the U.S. has one of the highest obesity rates in the world and that obesity leads to long-term health issues.

So it should come as no surprise that most Americans do not get the recommended level of physical activity needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 1 in 4 adult Americans in 2020 performed the recommended amount of physical activity for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

EXERCISE GUIDELINES:

150-300 MINUTES A WEEK OF MODERATE-INTENSITY AEROBIC ACTIVITY
OR
75-150 MINUTES A WEEK OF VIGOROUS AEROBIC ACTIVITY
AND
2 DAYS A WEEK OF MUSCLE-STRENGTHENING ACTIVITY THAT WORKS THE ENTIRE BODY

The CDC said that 22.7% met only the guidelines for aerobic activity, 6.8% met only the guidelines for muscle-strengthening activity, and 46.3% did not meet the guidelines for either type of activity.

Guidelines call for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Guidelines also call for adults to perform two days a week of activities that strengthen muscles throughout the body.

The CDC data found that income, gender and race all played a factor. The data showed that those who earn at least 200% of the federal poverty level are more than twice as likely to meet exercise guidelines than those making below the poverty level.

Men were also more likely to meet exercise requirements than women. Hispanic men were much more unlikely to meet physical activity guidelines than Black, Asian or white men. White women were more likely to exercise enough than Black, Hispanic or Asian women.