Interesting Exercise Statistics, Where Does Your State Rank?

by Her Happy Balance on May 14, 2013

Yesterday I was trying to do some research for a post idea that I’ve been thinking about, when I stumbled upon some really interesting statistics. Tell me I’m not the only one who enjoys oogling at a nice colorful pie-chart. Statistics get me every time. And when someone (the government) takes the time to make a bunch of fancy bar graphs about fitness-related material matter, well then I am sold!

First up, we have the percentage of people aged 15 years and up who engaged in sports/exercise activities on an average day.

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You can find me over in the land of 16%. One thing to keep in mind though, is that these saistics are from 2003-2006. Let’s hope that since then these numbers have increased…however to put that percentage into perspective…

“[C]onsider that the number of people who watched television on an average day is roughly five times larger [than those who exercise].” –United States Department of Labor

This survey also wanted to look at what type of role education played in the decision to exercise. Not so surprisingly, those with a higher level of education were more likely to engage in physical activity. What is surprising, is that on an average day, less than 25% of college educated persons exercised!

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My favorite statistic that I found was the percentage of activities performed by gender. Take a close look…while only 4% of women are braving the football field and only 18% of men are getting their jazzercise on (aerobics), running is one of the more gender neutral sports! Yet another reason showing why running is awesome and almost anyone can do it

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And just for fun, check out these stats:

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And just in case you’re wondering, brushing your teeth for 2 minutes burns about 4 calories.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Statistic Brain


What are your thoughts on exercise and sporting activities by state? I’m hoping my other PA fitness freaks helped drive this stat up from 16% in 2006!

What are some ways that we can create better fitness and exercise awareness?

Did you see that a one minute kiss can burn 26 calories? Tell me a fun everyday activity that has you getting your sweat on!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Meghan May 14, 2013 at 8:58 am

Proud to be from the land of 20% (I’m from Seattle) but ashamed to be living in the land of 15% – though this doesn’t surprise me. The South doesn’t get down with any sort of physical activity unless it involves cooking Southern foods – grits, hush puppies, fried chicken, anything that is bad for you, really. Ok, all my hating out in one sentence, moving on….

I love that you posted about this, we should have a conference call about this topic because I could go on and on. I think it’s upsetting that Americans are so sedentary nowadays. I feel like the easier something is, the more popular it becomes. Lunchables? Despicable. Fast food? Disgusting. Yet, everyday, Americans consume these awful foods and then neglect to give their bodies the exercise it deserves. I’m not a fitness snob or in the best shape of anyone out there, but I do firmly and passionately believe that a body needs plenty of daily exercise. A guy at LA Fitness put it to me like this once and it stuck: “You wouldn’t go a day without brushing your teeth would you? Giving your body some form of exercise everyday is just like that, you shouldn’t go a day without doing some physical activity.” He said it much better, but you know what I mean! It’s so true. Anyway, I’ll cut myself off before I get kicked out of the bar – but thanks for posting!! 🙂 I had no idea about the kissing + calorie combination. I’m going to be all over that whenever I miss a day of exercise! Ha! My poor boyyyfraaaan!

Her Happy Balance May 14, 2013 at 9:16 am

I love that you brought up Lunchables. When I was in elementary school I used to always want my mom to buy them for me (especially the pizza-making one) but she never would. I was complaining that she wouldn’t buy me sodium-packed crap, meanwhile she was making me homemade turkey sandwiches and apple slices. Good ol’ mom. And while the South does have a bad rep for exercise, I have to admit that I wouldn’t mind having Paula Deen cook me up one of her butter-laden creations just once haha 😉 And the guy from LA Fitness and you (of course!) have it right. Exercise is totally necessary. We’re all about instant gratification now. I think people give up on exercise when they don’t see/feel immediate results after one workout session. Anyway, we have our blogs to rant about this and to discuss all these awesome recipes and tips for staying fit, so happy to be a part of this community 🙂 And girlfriend what poor boyfriend? I’m sure he’ll be THRILLED when you don’t have enough time to workout 😀

Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom May 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

I think this is really interesting! I grew up in IL but I live in FL now and I really thought that the amount of people exercising would have been higher in FL than in IL! I guess I just assumed that since I see a lot of runners/cyclists in my area (and the fact that it’s beach season 9 months out of the year), the numbers in FL should be higher! I definitely think that incorporating physical education and healthy living courses into the school system will be a way to get our younger generations moving. In order to get more adults moving, I think doctors might need to use more scare tactics. I’ve heard a lot of adults say that their doctor doesn’t comment on their weight, even if they are overweight. I think this needs to be brought up more often, but it’s not enough to say “you are overweight” but the risks of being overweight need to be highlighted as well.

Apparently, cooking dinner for 30 minutes burns 74 calories! I do that enough 😉

Her Happy Balance May 14, 2013 at 9:24 am

So many good points in one comment! It’s unfortunate, but I think scare tactics are very powerful. I feel like I’ve been hearing a lot recently that people are trying to cut back on sweets because their doctor told them that they’re borderline type II diabetic. It’s scary that someone can push their body to that state before actually realizing that exercise and better food choices may be necessary. I don’t think I actually received a good nutrition education until I took a course on it to fulfill my mandatory phys ed requirement in college. I was eating lots of refined white grains and making bad food choices without really know it. Education needs to step it up and early, too! Thanks for sharing the stats on cooking dinner, that’s a fun one 🙂

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl May 14, 2013 at 9:42 am

I am in the land of 16%, too. I definitely find myself exercising a lot more in the Spring/Summer/Fall when the weather is much nicer. I can only walk on the treadmill for so long! :/

Her Happy Balance May 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Good point. The winter weather definitely drives the crowds down at the gym…but then January and New Year’s resolution time hits and it is MOBBED. And treadmill walking gets boring real fast. We’ll have to share fun workout ideas when the cold weather presents itself again. And at least we are contributing to drive that 16% upwards!

Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness May 14, 2013 at 10:21 am

Oh I love a good bar graph! You really know how to woo a girl on her first visit to your blog 🙂 this is a very interesting study, its amazing how sedentary most of the country is. What i found to be a pretty cool surprise though is that the split for dancing on the men v women chart is almost even! That’s awesome!

Her Happy Balance May 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Ooo good observation about the spread for men and women in dancing! I’m glad our male counterparts are interested in dancing too…I definitely can appreciate dancing with a man who knows how to properly lead 🙂

Chelsea @ LittleOneRuns May 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

I’m hoping some of those percentages have gone up lol I’m from the 20% (California) and I’m always seeing people out and moving! I guess I just never realized that so many are always out and moving. I found it weird that bowling was more gender equal than running lol. You have to start them young. That’s what my dad did with me. Brought me on the bike rides, let me ride the bike while he ran (until I could run with him :)), and from there I just became interested in sports and had a love like no other to just get up and move 🙂

Her Happy Balance May 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I think California has a decent rep for being health conscious 🙂 Lots of California cobb salads are on the menus at restaurants in the northeast. So kudos to you and your health conscious neighbors haha And what an AMAZING dad you have! That is such a fantastic idea to get kid’s involved in athletics early. I am going to make a mental note of this for when I have kids 🙂 Thanks for sharing that!!!

Brooke @ Running In Heels May 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

I know that these numbers have gotten better! At least for Wisconsin! I can’t remember the exact percentage but we looked at a similar chart from 2010 in a work meeting a couple of weeks ago and they had improved!

Her Happy Balance May 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Wahoo! Gotta love moving in the right direction 🙂 I’ll have to try and find an updated graph for PA now!

Becky @ Olives n Wine May 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Interesting! I’m lucky to live in a state that has TONS of fitness and healthy living options (at least in the summertime…) I actually think Minneapolis was ranked as one of the healthiest cities to live in last year! 🙂

Her Happy Balance May 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm

That’s really fantastic that you have so many options and ways to stay active in your area! I believe I’ve seen pictures on your Instagram showing a big body of water right outside your window..I’d imagine there’s lots in ways of kayaking/canoeing and water sports.

Beth Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm

It makes me sad that my state is in the 13% 🙁 However, I think it’s crazy that your metabolism is increased by 50% by eating spicy foods! I LOVE spicy foods! Bring em on 🙂

Her Happy Balance May 15, 2013 at 8:53 am

You’re helping raise that 13% though 🙂 And spicy foods are amazing, right? I love sriracha on nearly everything!

Nicole @ FruitnFitness May 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I started working out in college, in Kentucky. I think it’s so funny now when I go home to Minnesota because there are always tons of others running, for fun sports leagues, and activities and in Kentucky I have a hard time getting friends to play sports with me.

Her Happy Balance May 15, 2013 at 8:58 am

That sounds like a big switch! How have you handled the transition? More solo fitness activities? I also started working out in college, yay high five! haha 🙂

Kristina May 15, 2013 at 12:25 am

I’m actually surprised that the ratio for dancing is as close as it is. I guess all those girls need dance partners.
I’m lucky to live in a 20% state, but I wonder how different it would be if I lived somewhere else. I run because in Southern California, I can. If weather was an issue and I was sentenced to long winter months on a treadmill, I think that would take a lot of the excitement out. And you definitely need to be excited about your workout. So maybe my solution is for everyone to move to California or Florida 🙂

Her Happy Balance May 15, 2013 at 8:56 am

That’s a very good point! CA weather seems great for running (most of the time). The treadmill is boring and makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel. But because I am not brave enough to run in freezing temps or snow, it’s my only option in PA winters. Wah 🙁 Also I’ve heard that many restaurants in CA are health food friendly, so I’d love to visit one day and try out your eats. We have some health-minded restaurants in PA, but we also have plenty of steakhouses and fast food joints.

Meredith May 15, 2013 at 8:15 am

So interesting to see the numbers! I’m a numbers girl at heart 😉 I think it’s so important for physical activity awareness to begin in childhood and continue through adulthood. The company I worked for made joining a gym an incentive for us by reimbursing us each month! They considered healthy employees to be happy employees, which I loved!

Her Happy Balance May 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

I can remember really enjoying “gym class” as a little kid, but I definitely didn’t learn anything that was worth while or stuck-in nutrition-wise until college. Also, I would LOVE to work at a company that reimburses for going to a gym! Better yet, it would be great if my workplace had a gym I could go to on my lunch break!

Bezzymates May 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Interesting stats to see. The gender chart is so unique. I’ve never seen graphing like that before. Women still reign superior in aerobics it looks like. I always thought those west coasters were big into fitness and health, especially in San Diego. They walk and cycle everywhere. Great post.

Her Happy Balance May 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Thank you! Yes, I think women definitely take the cake in the aerobics section. Whenever I hear the word “aerobics” I think of Olivia Newton John and the video for “Let’s Get Physical” haha

Morgan May 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I loved this posting! I too get way excited about graphs and pie charts! I live in South Florida and am a little shocked I habitat a mere 15% area. There is so much to do here and so many lovely days…we need to add some percentage to this area!

ps. new to your blog and love it already! : )

Her Happy Balance May 16, 2013 at 10:21 am

Hi Morgan! So nice to “meet” you ! 😉 Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blog world!

Maybe the percentage in Florida is lower because of the large population of seniors? Maybe they’re not getting their fitness on? Not sure! But at least you’re a part of the 15%!

Eating 4 Balance May 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

Great post. It makes me want to go out and exercise to ramp up the stats for my state which are in the grey range 🙁

This is some really interesting information. Thanks for sharing!

Her Happy Balance May 16, 2013 at 10:23 am

You’re welcome 🙂 And you can be happy to say that you’re one of the active ones contributing to the greater level of fitness! Hopefully these stats have gone up over the last few years though too.

Sami May 16, 2013 at 11:57 am

That’s crazy interesting to look at! I’m with you, the gender thing is fascinating! <3

Her Happy Balance May 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I always get sucked into some good statistics, especially when it comes to health-related things 🙂

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