As goes the economy, so goes the exercise habits of U.S. citizens. According to a Gallup poll, Americans started to let their fitness activities go by the wayside in the fall of 2008. While there was a partial rebound in 2010, exercise levels are still not what they were before they fell.
Gallup based their findings on information gathered from 1,000 adults on their exercise habits. Of those who were polled, 53.4 percent said they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, three days a week. That was down from 54.3 percent in the same month in 2008.
While that doesn’t seem significant, since the margin of error for the study was one percent, it was more significant with older Americans. The group that saw the biggest decrease in exercise was the 65 years and older group. Less than 50 percent of them said they exercise for at least 30 minutes, three days a week.
According to a Gallup poll from 2009, just 24 percent of Americans said they get 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 days a week. Since Gallup has also seen a steady decline in Americans’ access to basic healthcare needs, people, particularly those 65 and older who saw the biggest decline, need to take advantage of affordable or even free ways to get exercise.
The report didn’t go into specifics as to why people would be exercising less during a down economy, but basic fitness techniques cost you nothing. Just take the time to walk your neighborhood and try some simple weight bearing exercises that require no equipment. Think push-ups, crunches, and squats, to name a few.