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Exercise Statistics By Age Group in 2023: Dominic Siwik

The current state of physical activity is one of the most worrying. Despite all the disturbing statistics and studies about exercise that are flooding medical journals, people continue to live their lives as they are. This is a trend that has grown since the second half of the 20th century. However, it is now a modern-day disease. It is a condition that threatens the health and well-being of modern-age people.

These facts are a summary of some of the most disturbing stats about physical activity among US residents.

Children and adolescents aged 5-17 years

Adults aged 18–64 years

Adults aged 65 years and above

Pregnant and postpartum women

All pregnant and postpartum women without contraindication should:

People living with chronic conditions (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, HIV and cancer survivors) 

Children and adolescents living with disability:

Adults living with disability:

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Benefits and risks of physical activity and sedentary behavior 

Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, wheeling, doing sports or active recreation, provides significant benefits for health. Some physical activity is better than doing none. People can easily achieve the recommended activity levels by becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways. 

Physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for noncommunicable disease mortality. People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.

Regular physical activity can:

In children and adolescents, physical activity improves:

In adults and older adults, higher levels of physical activity improves:

For pregnant and post-partum women 

Physical activity confers the following maternal and fetal health benefits: a decreased risk of:

Health risks of sedentary behaviour

Lives are becoming increasingly sedentary, through the use of motorized transport and the increased use of screens for work, education and recreation. Evidence shows higher amounts of sedentary behavior are associated with the following poor health outcomes:

In children and adolescents: 

In adults:

Levels of physical activity globally

Increased levels of physical inactivity have negative impacts on health systems, the environment, economic development, community well-being and quality of life.

Globally, 28% of adults aged 18 and over were not active enough in 2016 (men 23% and women 32%). This means they do not meet the global recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. 

In high-income countries, 26% of men and 35% of women were insufficiently physically active, as compared to 12% of men and 24% of women in low-income countries. Low or decreasing physical activity levels often correspond with a high or rising gross national product.

The drop in physical activity is partly due to inaction during leisure time and sedentary behavior on the job and at home. Likewise, an increase in the use of “passive” modes of transportation also contributes to insufficient physical activity.

Globally, 81% of adolescents aged 11-17 years were insufficiently physically active in 2016. Adolescent girls were less active than adolescent boys, with 85% vs. 78% not meeting recommendations of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per day. 

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How to increase physical activity?

Countries and communities must take action to provide everyone with more opportunities to be active, in order to increase physical activity. This requires a collective effort, both national and local, across different sectors and disciplines to implement policy and solutions appropriate to a country’s cultural and social environment to promote, enable and encourage physical activity.

Policies to increase physical activity aim to ensure that:

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