Are You Doing This Often Enough? Probably Not

A CDC report found that just 23% of Americans are getting enough exercise
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2018 5:35 PM CDT
Are You Doing This Often Enough? Probably Not

Here’s some bad news, but don’t take it sitting down. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report has found that only 23% of Americans are getting enough exercise. For adults 18 to 64, US guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week (half that if working out vigorously) and muscle-strengthening exercise at least twice a week. Although the findings beat the government's Healthy People 2020 initiative, which set a goal of 20.1% by 2020, success has been uneven, reports USA Today. For example, although 27.2% of men hit the target goal, only 18.7% of women did. Results also varied by region. Colorado scored highest, with 32.5% hitting exercise targets, while Mississippi brought up the rear, at 13.5%. In general, states in the southeast scored below the national average, and states in the west were above average.

Cold-weather states, like Colorado, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, fared well, which was a little surprising, says Tainya Clarke, a statistician and one of the report’s authors. "Usually, we would think the warmer states would have more people outside running or biking or cycling because that's what we see on TV," she told CNN. As the report notes, research has consistently found that regular exercise lowers the risk of a host of conditions, improves mental health, and extends life. The bottom line? In virtually all regions, there’s room for improvement. "We have to pause and ask ourselves, are we doing great as a nation?” asks Clarke. “Is it really good that only 23% of our population is engaged in enough aerobic activity and muscle strength training, or do we need to do better?" (These 10 cities have the highest exercise rates, and three are in Colorado.)

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