23 Exercise Statistics & Facts to Get You Moving in 2021
The importance of exercise cannot be overstated. As we all know, it improves our overall health and reduces the risk of developing many diseases. That said, research on exercise is still relatively new. Now, let’s dive in and see for ourselves what exercise statistics are out there.
Below, you will find the stats handpicked by our team. We made sure to cover the most urgent topics. Hopefully, you will find this information of value. If you do, do not hesitate to share this stats page on social media.
Essential Exercise Statistics for 2021
- One of the leading risk factors for non-communicable disease mortality is physical inactivity.
- 56% of WHO member states carry out policies to counteract the lack of physical activity.
- Adults under 65 should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly.
- The frequency of exercising decreases as one ages.
- People are more physically inactive in high-income countries—26% of men and 35% of women.
- There are 41,370 fitness centers in the US.
- 27% of online survey respondents have been exercising less since the start of the pandemic.
- Running for 15 minutes a day may reduce the risk of depression by 26%.
- 30 minutes of exercise a day might help reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms.
- 70% of physically active individuals report better sleep.
Must-Know Stats on Physical Activity
Perhaps, the question that has been on everyone’s mind is how much exercise is enough. Below, you will find an answer to that. You will also find out whether the number of inactive people is lower in high-income countries. For that and much more, keep reading.
1. A European survey found out that the frequency of exercising decreases as one ages.
Exercise statistics by age group show that the frequency of exercising decreases with age. While 59% of European men aged 15–24 exercise with some regularity, 22% of men aged 55 and older do so. Stats for women paint a similar picture. As many as 47% of women aged 15–24 exercise or play sports with some regularity, but only 21% of women aged 55 and older do so.
2. One of the leading risk factors for non-communicable disease mortality is physical inactivity.
The World Health Organization warns physically inactive people about a 20% to 30% increase in death risk. According to physical activity facts, some physical activity is much better than none. What’s more, achieving the recommended activity levels is not that difficult. One can do it by becoming more physically active (in relatively simple ways) throughout the day.
3. High physical activity reduces the risk of being severely overweight or obese.
(Mayo Clinic Proceedings)
Exercise statistics of 2020 reveal some fascinating data. Namely, one study of 295,917 participants discovered that high physical activity reduced the risk of adiposity (a medical condition of being severely overweight or obese) when using a body fat percentage. However, the said association was weaker when using a body mass index.
4. Adults aged 18 to 64 ought to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly.
Following exercise statistics, the WHO suggests that all adults aged 18 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Another recommendation is to do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (aerobic physical activity).
5. Children spend 5–7 hours in front of a screen every day.
Lack of exercise statistics point to the number of hours children spend in front of a screen. Namely, children in the US spend 5–7 hours a day playing video games, watching TV, or working on their computers.
6. Exercise alone isn’t enough to lose weight.
Well-known health and fitness facts point out that those losing weight need to focus on their calorie intake and not just on exercise. While exercising provides many health benefits, losing weight, in particular, is tied to a more significant calorie deficit.
7. Levels of inactivity are much higher in high-income countries.
The WHO states that 26% of men and 35% of women in high-income countries were insufficiently physically active. Exercise statistics compare the figures with those of low-income countries. There, 12% of men and 24% of women are physically inactive.
Global Exercise Facts and Statistics
We have already established that physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for non-communicable disease mortality. Now, what do the WHO and its member states do to tackle the issue? What’s more, how many people worldwide are affected by being insufficiently physically active. Let’s take a look at the stats below to learn what the issue is all about.
8. An astounding 81% of adolescents worldwide were not sufficiently physically active in 2016.
The WHO notes that 78% of adolescent boys aged 11 to 17 were not sufficiently active that year. Exercise facts emphasize that the inactivity levels were even higher for teenage girls of the same age. As many as 84% of them didn’t achieve the recommended activity levels.
9. 56% of WHO member states carry out policies to counteract the lack of physical activity.
Many WHO member states have been implementing policies to tackle physical inactivity and increase exercise prevalence. It’s important to note that the states plan to reduce insufficient physical activity by an impressive 10% by 2025.
10. Exercise and depression statistics uncover the link between the two.
One study shows that moderate to vigorous physical activity reduces depression symptoms in children and adolescents. That said, exercise and mental health statistics note that such improvements were statistically substantial only at a 6-month post-intervention follow-up.
American Exercise Statistics
Here, you will discover if Americans are taking steps to improve their health during the pandemic. You will also learn how many people in the US monitor their health indicators. For this and much more, keep reading.
11. 27% of those surveyed have been exercising less than usual, American exercise statistics of 2020 show.
An online survey of 1,486 Americans aged 18 and older reveals that, as of April 2020, an astounding 53% of respondents have been exercising about the same as usual. What’s more, 17% claim they have been exercising more than usual since the start of the pandemic.
12. As of 2019, there are 41,370 health clubs and fitness centers in the US.
According to the latest fitness industry statistics, the country does have many of these. The data also points out the steady increase in the number of these establishments. There were 30,022 health clubs and fitness centers in 2008, which means that their number has increased by at least 10,000 in 11 years.
13. Seven in ten American adults keep an eye on health indicators.
(Pew Research Centre)
Most American adults monitor health indicators either for themselves or their loved ones. That includes tracking weight, exercise routines, sleep patterns, blood pressure, and headaches. Note that people living with chronic conditions are much more likely to monitor these indicators.
14. 53% of Americans meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic activity.
Exercise statistics by the National Center for Health reveal that half of the American adults aged 18 and over meet Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity, set by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
15. Only 23% meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for muscle strengthening and aerobic activity.
Health and fitness statistics affirm that less than a quarter of American adults aged 18 and over meet the Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. Now, let’s see what they might be missing out on.
Physical Benefits of Exercise Statistics
Controlling weight and lowering the risk of many diseases are only some of the many physical benefits of exercise. The following section is bound to extend your knowledge of the topic and, hopefully, motivate you to exercise more often. Without further ado, let’s turn to the exercise facts and statistics below.
16. Those logging the most physical activity may lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by 60%.
These are the findings of a new research published in PLOS Medicine. It focused on the benefits of cardio exercise most active people, such as runners, can reap. It was also found that, by increasing your daily physical activity by 1,000 steps, you might be able to reduce the risk of heart disease.
17. Regular physical activity reduces bone density loss, according to health facts about exercise.
Not only does exercise help gain muscle strength, but it also improves bones by making them stronger. In a nutshell, it helps build strong bones when we are younger, and then it helps maintain the bone strength later on in our lives.
18. Stats about exercise reveal that regular physical activity lowers the risk of diabetes by almost 50%.
The UK’s National Health Service states that exercise can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes. It can also help reduce the risk of many other illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. What’s more, it can reduce the risk of premature death by 30%.
Following this, you might want to look into our picks for the best rowing machines. These machines are bound to brighten up your physical routine. On top of that, they come with a number of benefits, such as losing weight, building up muscles, and enhancing overall endurance.
Statistics About Exercise Benefits for Mind
Can exercising strengthen the mind and enhance memory? Is it really that helpful? Read on to find out just how beneficial physical activity is for our mental wellbeing.
19. 30 minutes of exercise a day might help reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms.
A growing body of evidence suggests that exercise may reduce the symptoms of the disease. One study, in particular, concludes that people over the age of 60 who exercise at least 30 minutes five times a week have fewer biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s.
20. Fun facts about exercise suggest that it enhances memory and improves thinking.
(Harvard Health Publishing)
Exercising improves your memory and thinking skills, both directly and indirectly. As for the direct impact, it is known that parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in people who exercise. Studies reveal that we can increase those with a moderate-intensity exercise, provided that we do it regularly for six months or a year. At the same time, exercise enhances memory indirectly by improving sleep and mood, as well as reducing stress and anxiety.
21. According to exercise and stress statistics, running for 15 minutes a day may reduce the risk of depression by 26%.
Stats note that many adults worldwide will experience depression symptoms in one form or another. Following that, it comes as no surprise that so many of us flock to the best online therapy sites or seek help elsewhere.
To our delight, lifestyle changes have been proven effective in treating or at least minimizing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. For instance, a study of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found that walking for an hour or running for 15 minutes a day may reduce the risk of major depression by 26%.
22. Statistics on exercising show that over 70% of physically active individuals report better sleep.
One study has put the connection between sleep and exercise under scrutiny. Around 76%–83% of the participants who exercised regularly reported fairly good sleep quality. They were also more likely to get more than enough sleep during the workweek, as exercise facts indicate. On the other hand, for those who didn’t exercise, the figure dropped to 56%.
23. Exercise can make you smarter.
Interestingly, older people who practice gardening or take leisurely walks tend to score better on tests that measure their attention and memory. Similarly, children get better grades and concentrate better when they walk to school, based on facts about exercise.
There are numerous benefits of exercise, from improving one’s quality of sleep to reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, minimizing the risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease. It can also boost your IQ and improve your mental health.
Sadly, most of us are insufficiently physically active. That said, the WHO and its member states have already been tackling the lack of physical activity. Multiple policies are now in place to resolve the issue and dictate the physical activity trends that make one take full control of their wellbeing.
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What amount of exercise is recommended?
The US Department of Health and Human Services provides concrete exercise guidelines. According to them, children and teens should do an hour of physical activity every day, primarily aerobic activity. As for adults, they should aim for 150–300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75–150 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week.
How often does the average person exercise?
Americans don’t exercise enough. Fewer than one in four Americans get enough exercise, excusing that by the lack of time. That said, they have enough free time—an average of five hours a day. Interestingly, on average, women exercise for 14 minutes, and men—24 minutes.
Is working out 30 minutes a day enough. Why?
Though it sounds too easy, half an hour of exercise has been proven to make a difference. First and foremost, it might improve your mood. Second, it may lower the risk of developing heart disease. Finally, a 30-minute exercise is an excellent remedy for anxiety and stress.
Is doing cardio everyday bad?
It is safe to do cardio for half an hour every day. That said, if you have chronic health conditions, you might want to switch to exercises of another type.
What percentage of people exercise daily?
About 19% of people in the US engage in physical activity every day. Interestingly, the participation rate is higher for men (20.2%) than women (17.8%), as exercise statistics report.