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How much do people exercise?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Exercise is a health and lifestyle issue that seems to weigh on many peoples' consciences. They know they should do more, but they somehow never quite get around to it. More than 90 percent of Americans agree that exercise is an important part of healthy living, but only 15 percent exercise as much as they should. Despite the sports fashion boom of the 1980s, Americans seem to be exercising less and less. As a nation, our fitness level is declining. Fewer people (as a percent of the total) are fit in the 2000s than in the 1990s, fewer were fit in the 1990s than in the 1980s, and fewer people in the 1980s were fit than in the 1970s. In other words, fitness has been in steady decline. Over two hundred fifty thousand deaths a year, 12 percent of the national total, can be attributed to lack of regular physical activity.
It depends on who they are and where they live and their age. Studies show that only about 25% of Americans engage in any form of exercise on a regular basis. Of those 25% the rate at which they exercise or how many days a week they exercise varies greatly. Experts recommend that people engage in 2 hours 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous exercise a week to stay healthy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.