3 Million More Americans Began Exercising in 2019, New SFIA Report Says

More Americans exercised in 2019
Photo by Thomas Barwick / Getty Images., In 2019, households earning less than $50,000 per year were significantly less active than households earning more than $50,000, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association's latest report.

The proliferation of today's workout opportunities drove three million more Americans to begin exercising in 2019, curbing a three-year-long trend of stagnant activity rates, according to the latest report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA).

However, the report also illuminated the relationship between household income and physical activity; households earning less than $50,000 per year are significantly less active than households earning more than $50,000.

“The uptick in number of people being active is good news and reflects a lot of hard work done in recent years to get more Americans active and healthy," SFIA President Tom Cove said in a media release of the 2020 Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report. "But make no mistake. The work is only beginning, and now is the time to double down to sustain this direction."

Nearly every fitness category saw increased participation in 2019, according to the report. This includes exercise choreographed to music (7 percent increase), aquatic exercise (6.4 percent), yoga (6 percent), rowing machines (5.9 percent) and treadmills (5.7 percent).

Additionally, while 16 of 23 team sports reported a decrease in participation, the team sports category as a whole saw increased participation due to new interest in basketball and soccer, among other sports.

“As a nation, we have a special responsibility to ensure that access to sport and fitness is open to all, without regard to one’s income," Cove said in the release. "It’s a moral imperative, and it’s also a sure-fire way to reduce long term health care costs. This is why it is so important that we pass the PHIT Act immediately."

The full SFIA report can be downloaded here.

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