Only 23 Percent of Americans Meet National Exercise Guidelines

A woman resting after a workout
Photo by jacoblund / Getty Images., Of those surveyed, 28.8 percent of males met the national leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) guidelines, compared to 20.9 of females.

Only 23 percent of American adults meet leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) guidelines, according to new research data from the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that those between the ages of 18 and 64 engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity every week. Only 22.9 percent of adults currently meet these guidelines, according to the new data released on June 28.

However, this means the department's Healthy People 2020 campaign—launched in 2010—is on track, as its goal was for 20.1 percent of Americans to meet the guidelines by 2020.

"That being said, we found that even though the average has met and exceeded the objective or the goal, there are differences," Tainya Clarke, a health statistician and epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics and one of the report authors, told CNN. "There are differences at the state level, and there are differences by some sociodemographic factors. ... Many of the states with the highest percentages of populations meeting the guidelines through leisure-time physical activity were what you'd call 'cold weather states' like Colorado, New Hampshire, Massachusetts. And usually, we would think the warmer states would have more people outside running or biking or cycling, because that's what we see on TV all the time."

Fourteen states, including the District of Columbia, reported higher-than-average percentages of adults who meet LTPA guidelines, while 13 states reported percentages below the 22.9 percent average.

Most-active states:

1. Colorado: 32.5 percent
2. Idaho: 31.4 percent
3. New Hampshire: 30.7 percent
4. Vermont: 29.5 percent
5. Massachusetts: 29.5 percent

Least-active states:

1. Mississippi: 13.5 percent
2. Kentucky: 14.6 percent
3. South Carolina: 14.8 percent
4. Indiana: 15.1 percent
5. Arkansas: 15.7 percent

Additionally, 28.8 percent of males met the LTPA guidelines, compared to 20.9 percent of females.

"We have to pause and ask ourselves, are we doing great as a nation?" Clarke said to CNN. "Is it really good that only 23 percent of our population is engaged in enough aerobic activity and muscle strength training, or do we need to do better?"

To view the complete data, click here.

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