Three In Four Americans Say Exercise Is Important To Daily Health

Posted on June 3, 2011

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A significant majority of all age groups believe that exercise is very or somewhat important, according to a recent Rasmussen poll. Younger people are less likely to agree with this statement. This age group, therefore, has nearly twice the number of non-exercisers than any other group. Is it because younger Americans are generally healthier, too busy or don’t care?

A look into the study shows 62% of those 18 to 29 claim that exercise is important. This jumps to 77% for those 30 to 39, 79% for the 40 to 49 group, 81% for those 50 to 64 and 77% for those 65+. Only 51% of men under 40 believe in exercise, but for those over 40 the number climbs to 78%. Younger women came in at 75% while 79% of those over 40 thought that exercise was important to daily life.

Fully 35% of the under 30 crowd never exercise compared to an average of 20% of the total sample who do not engage in physical activities. Interestingly, the 65+ group has the lowest number of non-exercisers with just 14%. Is this because New Seniors are more concerned about taking care of themselves as they age or a result of them having more free time? Based on the number of times and the minutes spent exercising, commitment to better health increases with age.

Most age groups exercise 1 to 3 times a week. But 39% of those 40 to 49 break a sweat 4 or more days a week followed by those 65+ at 30%. Time spent per session shows 39% of respondents exercise for 30 minutes or less, but nearly half the men 40 and older spend more time working out and do it more days of the week. So there is a strong indication that as men mature they want to be in top shape in order to compete in business or be prepared to enjoy life in general.

The research did not report the kinds of exercise engaged in by the respondents. However, cardiovascular activities are favorites among all age groups and sexes. Both men and women have their own specialties when it comes to elevating the heart rate and working up a sweat. Team sports are popular among men while exercise classes get the nod from women. Bodybuilding is also more male oriented, although it has a loyal core of female devotees.

Walking, jogging and running are activities that allow people of both sexes and all age groups to participate. It’s easy to get into this kind of exercise. The cost of entry is low, all that’s needed is a good pair of athletic shoes. There’s no need to join a gym or a group, but it is nice to do this with others. This way, exercising becomes a social activity as well as a way of helping those involved to stay involved.

No matter what people do, doctors will confirm that it is important to good health to do something. If the kids can be convinced that the “in thing” is to get away from their computers and enjoy some physical activity Americans will be a healthier and happier now and in the future.

Don Potter is a Philadelphia native and 50 year veteran of the advertising agency business. Now living in Los Angeles, he has written two novels in retirement and frequently writes and speaks on marketing issues. Potter is the founder and editor-in-chief of NewSeniors.com, the first online magazine dedicated to those 65+.

NewSeniors.com articles provide thoughts, comments and opinions designed to spark thinking, foster discussion and stimulate debate. The editorial content features general news and information as well as videos of interest to the burgeoning 65+ audience. A touch of nostalgia is also included. Learn more by logging on to http://www.NewSeniors.com

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