One in 20 of us will engage in a sweaty workout today

Here’s a statistic in support of the U.S. obesity epidemic: Only 5% of Americans exercise vigorously on any given day.

That’s the conclusion of a study by researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. They analyzed data from about 80,000 Americans participating in the American Time Use Survey and found that while almost 80% engaged in light activities, such as driving a car or getting dressed, most did not engage in moderate or vigorous activity on any given day. Just more than 10% reported lawn, garden or houseplant care and only 2.2% reported using exercise equipment and 1.1% running. The most common, non-work, non-sleeping activity reported was eating and drinking.

The authors note that between 78% and 88% of American workers are employed in sedentary occupations. And, given that health experts recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity it seems we have room to improve.

The study is published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

-- Shari Roan / Los Angeles Times

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