43 American Exercise Statistics & Facts to Make You Move It

Exercise Statistics

COVID19 has made a huge impact on the whole world, permeating every part of our existence, and  American exercise statistics did not remain unaltered either.  

Fortunately, with the rise of the healthy lifestyle community, more and more people are striving towards a more balanced, fitness-friendly life. As a result, people all over the world are attempting to lose weight, eat healthier, and join physical or online fitness clubs. 

How often does the average person exercise? Ideally, the average person should get in at least 30 minutes of some form of physical activity every day for five days a week, no matter whether it is lifting heavy weights at the gym or taking a brisk walk. 

Here are the top statistics on fitness and exercise you need to be aware of as soon as possible!

Top 10 American Exercise Statistics

  • The US fitness industry market is worth $33.25 billion.
  • Arlington, Virginia, was named the "fittest city" in 2020.
  • 23.8% of the youth in Kentucky are obese.
  • In 62% of the cases related to kids, sports-related injuries happen during practice.
  • 17% of Americans exercised more often during the pandemic.
  • 90% of Americans believe their home workout routines are effective.
  • There was an increase in fitness apps downloads by 46%
  • 67% of American cannabis users consume cannabis before or after workouts.
  • 41% of US children were engaged in recreational sports in 2020.
  • The United States is ranked as the 7th most fit nation on a global scale.

American Exercise Statistics for 2021

How many Americans lead an (in)active life and how often do they exercise? 

1. The US fitness industry market is worth $33.25 billion.

(Statista)

Compared to 2019, when its worth was $37.46 billion, in 2020, there was a decrease in numbers due to the global pandemic and the market value was 32.52. Moreover, the researchers estimate that the US market will reach only $33.25 billion in 2021. 

2. 50% of Americans consumed more calories in 2020, unhealthy American statistics revealed.

(FieldAgent)

According to one study, half of the surveyed Americans said they consumed more calories on a daily basis in March 2020, with 7% of them having admitted eating a lot more than before. Conversely,  only 15% reported consuming fewer calories. Besides that, 48% were snacking more too.

3. Arlington, Virginia, was named the “fittest city” in 2020.

(American Fitness Index)

Arlington had the lowest obesity rates among adults and the highest aerobic and strength activity rates among its residents. 

Next in line were Seattle and Minneapolis. 

4.  Nearly 80% of adult Americans don’t meet the aerobic and muscle-strengthening guidelines.

(Health.gov)

What amount of exercise is recommended for an average adult? Adults should do moderate-intensity workouts for a minimum of 150–300 minutes per week and vigorous-intensity workouts of 75–150 minutes per week. What’s more, adults also have to do regular muscle-strengthening exercises of moderate and greater intensity, that will include all muscle groups.

5.  Mississippi has the highest inactivity rates of 37.7%, according to the most recent data.

(State of Childhood Obesity)

Mississippi is also the state with the highest rates of obesity among adults and children. Oklahoma and Kentucky follow with 34% and 32.8%, respectively. Even worse, both Mississippi and Oklahoma seem to be a part of a rising trend in sedentary lifestyle statistics

On the other hand, Utah (18.5%), Colorado (18.7%), and Delaware (19%) had the lowest inactivity rates.

6. Over $35 billion — that’s how much Americans are spending on gym memberships annually

(Statista) (RunRepeat)

More than a fifth of US citizens belong to at least one gym, which means that 1 in 5 Americans are members of a minimum of one health studio or club, spending over $35 billion per year on membership.

7. 36.2% of adults without a degree have the highest percentage of self-reported obesity.

(CDC

In contrast, college students exercise statistics show that university graduates have the lowest chances to get the disease — 25%.  On the other hand, high school graduates’ risk of obesity is very high — up to 34.3% of high schoolers are obese.

8. LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and Anytime Fitness LLC are the most popular gyms in America.

(Exercise.com) (ChainXY)

There are over 622 LA Fitness clubs all over the US, followed by around 300 24 Hour Fitness clubs (the brand was forced to close 100 gyms in June due to COVID-19), and more than 4,000 Anytime Fitness LLC US franchised locations.

Children and Adolescents Exercise Stats 

How active is the youth population and how many are engaged in sports? 

9. Children spend 5–7 hours in front of the screen.

(MedlinePlus)

One of the biggest contributors to obesity and lack of exercise is increased screen time. Screen time is a common term referring to activities in front of the screen, such as watching TV or playing video games. 

Children spend an average of three hours a day watching TV and a couple of more doing another activity in front of a screen. This also makes it hard for children to sleep at night.

10. 23.8% of the youth in Kentucky are obese, exercise statistics by age group report. 

(State of Childhood Obesity)

Kentucky is the number one state when it comes to childhood obesity. 23.8% of young individuals aged 10–17 suffer from obesity. In contrast, the lowest rate of childhood obesity is in Utah, at 9.6%.

11. 41% of US children were engaged in recreational sports in 2020.

(Statista) (Project Play)

The most popular sports among teenagers (13–17 years old) are basketball (3.44 million), baseball (2.18 million), and soccer (1.48 million).

12.  Children between 12–16 years that lead a sedentary life are at higher risk of developing depressive symptoms later in life.

(ABC News) (Black Dog Institute)

Benefits of exercise statistics report numerous advantages. First of all, a 16-week standard workout routine can be as effective as medication used to treat mild and moderate depression. Secondly, aerobic exercises like cycling and jogging + strength training like weight-lifting can help with depression treatment. And lastly,  exercise and depression statistics show us that regular exercise can lead to lesser anxiety and depression symptoms

13. Health and fitness facts confirm that in order to reap the benefits of physical activity, young individuals aged 5–18 need to exercise for 60 minutes every day.

(NHS)

To make sure that a child or an adolescent remains in top physical health, professionals recommend getting at least an hour of vigorous or moderate exercise every day. Walking a dog or walking to school count as moderate activities, for example.

They advise implementing muscle and bone strengthening exercises such as hopping, skipping, and gymnastics.

Common Injuries and American Exercise Statistics

What are the odds of getting injured during a workout routine? 

14. 88% of cyclists that get injured are male.

(Hamparyan)

That goes for the age group between 20 and 24 years old. Bicycle accidents can be severe and even deadly. Therefore it’s essential to wear a helmet. Besides the head injuries, other common bike injuries include contusions, abrasions, strains, lacerations, and fractures.

15. Exercise injury statistics show CrossFit athletes who exercise less than three times a week are at a greater risk of injury.

(NCBI)

This is also true for those who are still in their first year of doing CrossFit. The injuries to shoulders (39%) and back (36%) were the most common, while knee injuries account for 15%.

Overall, CrossFit is considered relatively safe and even safer than some traditional training methods.

16. American exercise statistics about injuries report that in 62% of the cases, sports-related injuries happen during kids’ practice.

(Safe Kids)

There is a good reason why experts recommend beginning with a slow, low-intensity exercise program and warming up before each exercise. Many would falsely assume that the majority of sports-related injuries occur during the actual game, not the practice session. 

However, according to one of the most interesting physical activity facts, many injuries may occur during stressful practice sessions. Some of the most common types of injuries are sprains, repetitive motion injuries, and heat-related issues.

17. Around 170,000 children aged 5–14 have been treated in emergency rooms for basketball-related injuries.

(StanfordChildrens.org)

Playing hoops may be one of the most demanding sports out there, especially for kids, and basketball may also lead to a lot of injuries. 

Various data found that physical contact, quick stops and starts, and a burst of activity may subject the players to injuries such as ankle sprains, finger injuries, and Sever’s disease. 

Global Fitness Facts and Stats

What do the numbers tell us about Europe and other countries? How high are their activity rates?

18. There are 69,000 registered fitness instructors in the UK.

(Statista) (RunRepeat)

On the one hand, personal trainers that work as freelancers earn a minimum of $27–$54 (£20–£40) per hour and the maximum of $68–$136 (£50–£100) per hour, based on the client. On the other hand, inexperienced fitness club employees can earn $19,115–$21,845 (£14,000–£16,000) per year, compared to experienced trainers that earn $27,307–$40,961 (£20,000–£30,000) per year.

19. Exercise prevalence stats report Germany has the highest number of fitness clubs in Europe with 11.7 million registered members. 

(Statista) (Deloitte)

In 2019 there were 9,669 fitness clubs in Germany, visited by 11.7 million members. The country earned the most as well, making 20% of the European fitness market.

The second country with the largest number of gym clubs was Italy with 7,760 clubs and 5.5 million members, the UK with 7,239 clubs and 10.4 million members, and Spain with 4,743 clubs and 5.5 million members. The prevalence is lowest in the Republic of Ireland that has only 720 fitness clubs.

20. Exercise facts show 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men need more physical activity if they want to remain healthy.

(WHO)

Most recent stats regarding financial issues indicated 26% of men and 35% of women were not physically active enough in high-income countries. In comparison, the figures are 12% and 24% for low-income countries, respectively. This tendency might be explained by the abundance of food resources in high-income countries.

21. The United States is ranked as the 7th most fit nation on a global scale, based on the physical activity trends.

(Travel Leisure)

Everyone knows about the stereotype that Americans and physical activity are not a match made in heaven. However, based on a global Reebok study, the US takes 7th place when it comes to being fit. The ultimate winner is Switzerland, followed by Portugal, France, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The survey was based not only on gym memberships but the number of people running marathons, availability of tracks, etc.

22. Statistics about exercise in the UK are a bit worrying as 7.2 million Britons got hurt during lockdown home workouts.

(Bupa

During the lockdown, 28% of Brits continued with their regular workout routine, whereas 17% wanted to experiment with something new. In addition to that, men were more likely to injure themselves during a workout. The most frequent injuries involved pulled muscles (36%), knee injuries (31%), back injuries (26%), ankle injuries (26%), and neck injuries (25%). 

23. 9% of Aussie cricketers (on a squad of 25) have a form of injury at all times.

(Physioworks)

Some of the most common injuries related to cricket involve hamstring strains and side strains, as well as low back pain or stress fractures. The number is even higher in fast bowlers (15%). 

Exercise Benefits Statistics 

What are the health benefits of regular exercising?

24. Exercise lowers the risk of developing dementia by about 30% and Alzheimer’s disease by 45%.

(Alzheimer’s Society)

Exercise and mental health statistics found that regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent and treat illnesses. Not only can it reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers, but aerobic exercise can also enhance the performance on thinking tests. Additionally, it can help with memory improvement and processing speed. 

25. Fitness facts confirm daily exercise reduces bone mineral density loss.

(NIH)

Bones are extremely important living tissues with blood supply and active metabolism, which positively respond to regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. The combination of diet and exercise makes bones stronger, healthier, and less prone to fractures.

For example, osteoporosis is one of the most common bone-related illnesses, which makes the bones weak and fragile. According to numerous studies, the best exercises for bone strengthening involve weight-training and resistance exercises.

26. Daily moderate exercise can diminish type 2 diabetes risk by 30%, workout statistics report.

(Insider

Type 2 diabetes typically occurs in overweight or obese individuals, as the body becomes significantly resistant to insulin. In short, diabetes is one of the most common diseases caused by unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. 

Plenty of studies and researchers have found that the key to preventing and treating type 2 diabetes lies in a balanced combination of diet and exercise. Exercise, in particular, is extremely helpful to people with diabetes who want to avoid long-term issues, such as stroke.

27. 30 minutes of moderate aerobic workout can reduce sleeping problems.

(Johns Hopkins Medicine

According to fitness facts and tips, when we do aerobic exercise our body releases endorphins, a group of peptides responsible for increasing pleasure. Given that they are also responsible for the activity in our brain, we should avoid exercising 1–2 hours before going to sleep. 

Based on new researches, aerobic exercise can provide similar effects as sleeping pills. Keep in mind that more studies are needed to explain the connection between insomnia and exercise. 

28. Active individuals are 40%–50% less likely to have colon cancer, exercise statistics show.

(Cancer.Net)

Colon cancer affects the large intestine and is most common among older adults. Similar figures (30%-40%) occur when we discuss physical activity and breast cancer. Over 3 hours of exercise per week reduce the likeability of developing breast cancer, regardless of genetics.

29. Exercise lowers the risk of hip fracture by 68%.

(NHS Inform)

A hip fracture is a severe form of injury which might lead to life-threatening complications. Older people, individuals taking multiple medications, and those with fragile bones are more likely to be at risk. Since exercise increases bone density, regular activity is vital.

Exercise and Coronavirus Statistics

What was the role of the global pandemic on people and their daily workout routines?

30. 17% of Americans exercised more often during the pandemic.

(Statista)

Coronavirus was responsible for the global lockdown, which resulted in postponing numerous sports events and closing the gyms. While 53% of Americans continued to do their workout in the same fashion, regardless of the lockdown, 27% reported doing less exercise, compared to 17% who started exercising more often.

31. US exercise rates show only 2% of gym-goers felt at ease about going back to the gyms after the pandemic.

(Statista)

It seems that Americans are still not comfortable enough to go back to the gyms due to COVID-19 and the risk of getting infected. That said, only 12% planned on returning to gym sessions in the following three months, compared to 11% who would go back after six months and 21% who wished to start again after six months. 

32. 90% of Americans believe their home workout routines are effective.

(Fortune)

In correspondence with American exercise statistics from 2020, the “new normal” has forced people to be more creative in their workout routines. Not only do 90% of Americans believe their exercises at home work like a charm, but 54% consider them to be extremely effective.

33. 59% of US adults are planning to end their gym memberships after the pandemic.

(CNBC)

American exercise statistics are looking grim. Based on one survey conducted on 2,009 of 24+ Americans, nearly 60% of the surveyed are not planning to go back to the gym. 

Given that each responder reported spending about $177 per month on gym membership and other training programs and classes (roughly $2,124 per year), they believe that a home workout is a cheaper way of becoming fit and healthy. Basically, 56% reported having found more affordable options.

34. American exercise statistics show 44% of the population plans to exercise more in 2021.

(Statista)

New Year is not just about finding the best weed gifts for him or her, but about making resolutions too. The most popular New Year’s resolution among Americans was to exercise more (44%) and eat healthier (42%) in 2021. Losing extra pounds and quitting cigarettes were the most popular health resolutions. 

35. There was a global increase in fitness apps downloads by 46%.

(World Economic Forum)

Although fitness apps were popular even before the pandemic, the lockdown was responsible for the growth of fitness apps downloads worldwide, interesting fitness facts report. The most significant increase in numbers happened in India, with a whopping growth of 157%, followed by the Middle East and North Africa (55%), Asia-Pacific (47%), Europe (25%), and Americas (21%).

36. In 2020, over 250,000 people joined clubs created on Strava. 

(ESPN)

Strava is a popular internet service used for tracking exercises. Based on fitness industry trends and statistics (and the app’s users data), over 30,000 newly created clubs were created in 2020. In addition to that, there was an increase in cycling and running activities among Americans, as well as walking, kayaking, hiking, yoga, and weight lifting. 

When it comes to fitness rates, there was a bigger increase among women (in the US and worldwide) of 45.2%, compared to men (27.3%).

37. Workout statistics in the UK are improving as 61% of women and 50% of men started walking more frequently due to the global pandemic. 

(Statista)

Although exercise trends change over time, one thing is sure—COVID-19 “forced” many Britons to change their habits. Almost half of them started walking more often than usual, while 24% of women and 16% of men did home workouts. 

Men take the lead, though, when it comes to jogging as 13% of women and 15% of men started going for a run. What is more, it appears men are bigger fans of cycling as 14% of men went on bicycle rides, compared to 7% of women.

38. Fitness industry statistics have changed as over 80% of people reported switching to live stream workout classes during the pandemic.

(Mindbody)

While in 2019, only 7% of people watched live stream workout classes, but things drastically changed in 2020. Amidst the pandemic, this number rose to over 80%. The most popular modalities were yoga and HIIT.

39. There was a 27% decrease in indoor workouts and a 13% increase in outdoor workouts in the US.

(Polar)

Cycling witnessed a growth of 19% while running increased by 13%. Concerning the indoor activities, there was a decline in treadmill running by 43%, group exercise by 35%, and cross-training by 31%. Strength training rates dropped by 27%, and indoor cycling went down by 25%.  

Fitness Statistics and Cannabis

What’s the effect of marijuana on exercising?

40. 67% of American cannabis users consume cannabis before or after workouts.

(MarketWatch) (Medical Daily)

Weed and exercise research published in Frontiers in Public Health report eight in ten cannabis users ingest the substance shortly before or quickly after a workout. The research dealt with around 600 adult cannabis users living in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California. For 52% of them, cannabis also served as a motivation booster, while 78% praised it for recovery benefits.

According to a medical study from 2018, the healthiest way to smoke weed is by smoking, not vaping if you’re a first-timer.

41. Fun fitness facts: American adults who used cannabis at least an hour before a workout got 43 more minutes of exercise than those who didn’t.

(MarketWatch)

Even though it might not always be the best idea, professionals found that the stereotype that cannabis leads to laziness is false. 

Running while in a high state may mimic naturally occurring endorphins, and working out high is linked with better, more intense workouts and increased focus during sets.

Nevertheless, working out high is not recommended for all types of exercise.

42. Does weed speed up metabolism? Exercise statistics and research THC has no dramatic effects on the body’s metabolic processes.

(LiveStrong)

The Health Services at Columbia contributed to statistics about cannabis. Individuals who solely rely on cannabis to lose or maintain their body weight will be disappointed to find out that traditional weight-loss strategies are the way to go.

However, exercising while high may improve endurance, which leads to more calorie burning.

43. Can you sweat out THC? Two sauna sessions are recommended.

(NewHealthGuide)

Besides attempting to dilute the urine or trying out a cannabis detox program, sweating may also be a successful way of eliminating THC. One should use the heat from two separate sauna sessions to sweat it out  — in the evening, and the following morning before the test.

Conclusion

Numerous American exercise statistics have shown that regular physical exercise improves cognitive abilities, regulates mood levels, and helps people lose weight. 

Furthermore, smoking weed and working out is linked to better, stronger, and more enjoyable workouts. To make sure that we are healthy and living our life in the best possible way, we need to consume a nutrient-dense diet and focus on getting enough daily exercise, especially if we are to employ all our resources to fight coronavirus.

FAQs

How much does the average American exercise?

Americans over 15 years old spend an average of 31 minutes per day on exercising, sports, and recreation. People between 20 and 24 are more engaged in working out than other age groups, with an average of 60 minutes per day, i.e., 4.91 hours per week. 

The group that engages the least in regular exercise are people over 75, who spend about 20 minutes per day on sports and recreation. On a similar note, an average American walks about 1.5–2 miles per day.

However, the “new normal” brought many changes when it comes to leading an active life. In fact, 17% of Americans reported exercising more often, while 27% reported exercising less frequently during the pandemic.

Is it OK to exercise every day?

Yes, it is perfectly fine. Remember even walking to school or work is considered moderate exercise. Experts suggest that you should exercise a minimum of 150 minutes per week. In other words, 30 minutes of exercise within five days is enough. 

What is the best time for exercising? That depends on the activity. Both aerobic and resistance exercises are beneficial if you’re doing them in the morning. When it comes to high-intensity training, you can do it in the afternoon and the early evening. It won’t disturb your sleep.  

What is the most popular exercise in the US?

The most popular group exercise in the US is — yoga! 25% of those who work out prefer this ancient activity. Strength training comes next, with 17% of Americans enjoying deadlifts and push-ups. Zumba ranks third, followed by dance and indoor cycling.

Does exercise help coronavirus recovery?

Yes, in a way that it helps boost your immune system. Regular exercising and staying fit can help people with many health issues. Given that obese people, if infected by COVID-19, are at a higher risk of getting hospitalized, exercising can help with boosting immunity and staying healthy. 

Nevertheless, a rapid increase in physical activity is not recommended since it can lead to various injuries. What is more, regular exercise is not to be taken as a 100% guarantee that one will not get infected.  

Can you exercise with coronavirus?

The doctors recommend people postpone any exercising if the symptoms include chest congestion, fatigue, fever, coughing, or stomach problems. 

As for those who recovered from COVID-19, they must follow specific guidelines if they want to return to exercising. There are different guidelines, depending on the symptoms. For example, people who had no symptoms can gradually fully return to their workout routine. This means they need to reduce their physical activity by 50% before they even think about contributing to American exercise statistics once again. 

On the other hand, people who had heart symptoms must wait for 2-3 weeks before resuming their daily exercises, while people who had inflammation of the heart must wait for 3-6 months. 

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