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Few Americans Use Exercise Equipment

WASHINGTON, DC — Only 2.2 percent of Americans use exercise equipment, according to analysis by researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. The researchers looked at data from the American Time Use Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The survey of 80,000 Americans includes the average amount of time per day in 2009 that individuals worked, did household activities, and engaged in leisure and sports activities.

The researchers found that 5 percent of Americans exercise vigorously and 1.1 percent run for exercise, while between 78 percent and 88 percent of Americans have sedentary occupations in which they sit much of the day.

According to the survey, watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for about half the leisure time, on average, for those ages 15 and over. Socializing, such as visiting with friends or attending or hosting social events, was the next most common leisure activity, accounting for nearly three-quarters of an hour per day.

Men were more likely than women to participate in sports, exercise or recreation on any given day — 21 percent compared with 16 percent. On the days that they participated, men also spent more time in these activities than did women, 2.0 hours compared with 1.4 hours.

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