Regular exercise is a critical component in the prevention of heart and other debilitating diseases. However, several statistics show reduced physical activity among adults and adolescents following the spread of Covid-19.
This presents many health and fitness problems to all individuals regardless of age group. Apart from that, the increased number of individuals who will have health issues because of physical inactivity can cost the world billions of dollars annually.
To fully grasp the effects of the decline in physical activities, an investigation of recent exercise statistics will be necessary. These figures and data are essential for organizations like the World Health Organization to strategize and address the current needs appropriately.
And optimistically, it will help us realize the importance of staying physically active despite some of the current restrictions.
Enlightening Exercise Facts and Statistics (Editor’s Pick)
- Inactivity increases the risk of death by at least 20%.
- At least 30 minutes of daily exercise lessens the chances of depression.
- 25% of men don’t meet the necessary physical activity level.
- Physical inactivity costs the world approximately $54 billion.
- 81% of adolescents worldwide aren’t getting enough exercise.
- Only a quarter of Americans get the recommended dose of exercise.
- Nearly 29% of Americans are trying out new fitness routines amid the pandemic.
Global Statistics on Exercise
1. Inactive individuals have at least a 20% increased risk of death.
Regular exercise like walking and cycling provides tons of health benefits to individuals. However, the converse is also true.
According to the World Health Organization, the lack of physical activities is one of the leading factors for non-communicable diseases.
In fact, health and fitness statistics reveal that adults who aren’t physically active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death.
2. People who can exercise for at least 30 minutes a day have lower chances of getting depressed.
According to Brazil’s physical activity statistics, exercising moderately for at least 30 minutes can lower a person’s risk of depression. However, if the activity is highly strenuous, the minimum time goes down to 15 minutes.
Research also suggests that people with a sedentary lifestyle for at least 10 hours daily are more likely to have depressive symptoms.
3. One out of four men doesn’t meet the necessary physical activity level.
The latest statistics on exercising show us unsettling figures regarding global physical activity trends. Current data shows that one out of four men worldwide doesn’t receive sufficient exercise.
The statistics are much worse for women, where one in three female adults doesn’t meet the global recommended levels of training.
4. High-income countries have higher percentages of inactive populations.
Decreasing levels of physical activity in a country’s population are inversely proportional to its income. Statistics about exercise indicate that 26% of male adults and 35% of female adults in high-income countries are physically inactive.
The percentages are much lower for low-income countries, where only 12% of men and 24% of women are insufficiently active.
Analysts relate this income-based trend for physical activity in countries to varying modes of transportation.
For example, in high-income countries, the population has more passive modes of transportation, which contributes to insufficient physical activity.
5. Physical inactivity costs the world approximately $54 billion.
According to global exercise statistics, about 25% of adults are not getting enough physical activity. This is a cause for concern worldwide.
Data suggests that physical inactivity costs the world $54 billion in direct health care. However, this isn’t just the costs the world has to face because of some people’s lack of exercise.
Apparently, the world loses $14 billion because of lost productivity in individuals who aren’t in top shape.
6. New research suggests that people over 65 are the most physically active in the UK.
(Source: Health and Wellbeing)
Unlike the exercise statistics by age group published in 2020 for the US, the UK displays different stats and figures.
The new research results come with the surprising revelation that people over 65 are the most physically active.
In fact, about 44% of adults in this group participate in activities eight times more than the younger Millennials.
7. 81% of adolescents worldwide aren’t getting enough exercise.
Research has proven that exercise helps prevent certain diseases like stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
Yet, according to the World Health Organization’s physical activity statistics in 2020, about one in four adults and 81% of adolescents aren’t exercising enough.
Further studies also show that as countries increase their income levels, physical inactivity increases up to 70%.
Researchers believe the changing transport patterns, increased use of technology for daily routines explain this correlation between the country’s income level and physical inactivity.
US Exercise Trends 2020 and 2021
8. Consumers are now welcoming pre-recorded fitness videos during their workout amid the pandemic.
(Source: Mindbody Online)
Undoubtedly, the pandemic is changing the way Americans are staying physically active. As new exercise trends in 2021 are shifting towards virtual fitness, consumers quickly adapt to the changes.
In fact, about 40% of consumers are now using pre-recorded fitness videos amid the pandemic. This is a massive leap from the 27% of customers using fitness videos pre-pandemic.
9. According to statistics, men spend more time than women on sports, exercise, and recreation.
One of the exercise statistics published in 2020 shows that men spend more time on physical activities than women.
On average, men spend 0.39 hours per day doing sports, exercise, and recreational activities, while women spend only 0.23 hours on physical activities.
This significant gap in the time men and women allocate for training has been consistent throughout the years.
10. More Americans will keep doing their workout routines in the comfort of their homes.
The American exercise statistics in 2020 demonstrate a change of heart in most Americans regarding physical activities.
About 60% of Americans say they enjoy working out at home so much that they have no plans of going back to their gyms.
This figure suggests that gym owners will need to present a hybrid model to their customers to encourage customers to keep their memberships.
Exercise Statistics in America
11. The desire to control weight is the top reason why Americans continue to exercise.
(Source: Mindbody Online)
There’s little doubt the pandemic caused disruptions on fitness routines and mental health issues on many Americans; some feel determined to turn things around.
One of the latest workout statistics states that 34% of consumers continue to exercise to control their weight. Also, 33% and 31% exercise to feel good about themselves and to feel better mentally.
12. Only a quarter of Americans get the recommended dose of exercise.
The government recommends Americans perform 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. But, unfortunately, American exercise statistics demonstrate that only 25% of Americans get this recommended dose even before the pandemic started.
This is because Americans aren’t the biggest enthusiasts of physical activities, despite the benefits of exercise to overall health.
13. Physical activity among active Americans declined substantially following the height of the pandemic.
Americans aren’t the most active citizens globally, and the pandemic is only making the nation more sedentary.
The latest workout stats show that Americans who were getting the recommended dose of exercise reduced their physical activity by 32%.
14. Statistics show that American teenagers aren’t getting enough of the recommended exercise.
It appears that young American adults are missing out on several health benefits because of a lack of exercise.
Fitness statistics show that only one out of four high school students gets the recommended one hour of exercise daily.
Researchers blame this troubling statistic on the explosion of smartphones, where students spend most of their time scrolling through social media.
Apart from this, most school curriculums have declining educational programs dedicated to physical activity. In fact, PE classes only set about 10 to 20 minutes of decent exercise.
15. College students are struggling with keeping to their exercise routines amid the Covid-19.
(Source: Active Minds)
Self-care has been especially challenging for college students since the pandemic started. In fact, the latest college students’ exercise statistics reveal that 73% of the students are struggling to get sufficient exercise.
This extremely high percentage shouldn’t be so surprising, considering that 76% of these students are having difficulties maintaining their previous routine.
16. Breast cancer patients who are physically active have a 40% lower risk of death from the illness.
Research and published journals have long proposed that a physically active lifestyle is necessary for all, including those who have battled some diseases.
Reduced risk of death from breast cancer is among the many benefits of exercise, and statistics can prove it.
According to the most recent review of published papers, 42% of physically active patients have a lower risk of death from any cause.
Further, patients who maintain a routine have a 40% reduced risk of dying from breast cancer.
17. Exercise can reduce the chances of developing a mental disorder by 25%.
Researchers believe that exercise can provide relief for people suffering from anxiety and depression. And statistics on exercise and mental health seem to support this claim.
For example, in one study, results showed that individuals who were doing vigorous exercise were 25% less likely to develop mental illness in the next five years.
However, some psychologists suggest that a 10-minute walk might provide similar relieving effects to anxiety and depression as a 45-minute workout.
18. According to the latest exercise statistics by age group, Millennials are the most physically active.
A survey among the different generations shows that Millennials have the highest percentage of physically active individuals.
In fact, the statistics show that around 42% of Millennials are physically active, and only 23.4% are inactive.
Meanwhile, the generation of Boomers has the lowest percentage, with only 31.4% of its population physically active.
19. Physically active people can lower their risks of developing cardiovascular disease by as much as 57%.
Despite the challenges of quantifying the benefits of exercise to cardiovascular health, researchers believe in the correlation between physical activity and reduced cardiovascular diseases.
According to cardio exercise statistics, the most active individuals have a 48% to 58% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The figure is higher by six percentage points for people performing the top 25% intense activity.
20. Approximately 29% of Americans are trying out new fitness routines amid the pandemic.
(Source: Mindbody Online)
The pandemic has affected the majority of Americans in more ways than one. Because of Covid-19, more Americans are willing to try out new forms of exercise.
In fact, according to the latest workout statistics, 29% of Americans started a new workout routine they previously haven’t tried pre-pandemic.
21. The Young Boomers are the least receptive to virtual fitness routines.
(Source: Mindbody Online)
There may have been an overall increase in virtual fitness adoption, but a breakdown of the virtual exercise statistics shows not all generations are receptive.
While a significant percentage of Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z are welcoming of live stream and pre-recorded videos, the Young Boomers are not.
For example, 42% of Gen X, 46% of Millennials, and 41% of Gen Z are trying out pre-recorded videos, but only 15% of Young Boomers have tried out this trend.
Facts About Exercise
22. Exercise increases an individual’s chances of living longer.
Years of scientific studies and research show one of the most crucial facts concerning exercise we need to know.
Researchers are confident that physical activity helps reduce an individual’s risk of death from heart diseases and cancers.
Maintaining a physical routine of at least 150 minutes a week can drastically reduce the risk for all-cause mortality by 33%.
No other lifestyle choice can provide such an impact on our lifespan. Interestingly, vigorous-intensity activity isn’t necessary to attain this reduced risk of premature death.
23. Exercise alone isn’t enough to lose weight.
Physically active individuals are aware of most facts about diet and exercise. For instance, those who exercise intensely are aware of the phenomenon called compensation; it’s when the body feels ravenous after a vigorous workout.
When this happens, you’ll end up consuming as much as 50% of the calories you burned off. Usually, this translates to 1,000 more calories than your regular consumption.
This is why exercise alone isn’t sufficient to lose weight unless the workout routine is six times a week, lasting 40 minutes per workout. This is because exercising frequently can offset the extra calorie intake during post-workout snacks.
24. Exercise can reduce the risk of dementia among older adults.
(Source: Cleveland Clinic)
A positive relationship between exercise and the brain is one of the most curious facts surrounding human physical activity.
Many groundbreaking studies suggest how beneficial exercise is to our physical and mental state. For instance, older adults who perform physical activities can lower their risk of dementia by 31%.
Even adults who had already had problems with dementia improved their cognitive functions because of exercise.
Most scientists are in agreement that exercise improves the anatomy of the brain itself. Apparently, exercise boosts neuroplasticity, a process wherein the brain’s neural networks change and reorganize.
Fun Facts About Exercise
25. Regular exercise can boost sex drive in both men and women.
Exercise helps reduce the risks of developing non-communicable diseases. But, that’s not all the benefits exercise provides.
Research shows fascinating sex and exercise facts worth noting. For instance, studies confirm that men who work out 2.5 hours a week can boost testosterone levels by 15%, impacting sex drive.
Apart from this, workouts that include cardio routines also help improve men’s stamina.
The sexual benefits of exercise aren’t just for men; studies show that women experience exercise-induced sexual arousal.
And it doesn’t have to be prolonged periods of activity. In fact, just 20 minutes of workout can increase a woman’s sexual arousal by 169%.
26. Exercise can drastically improve sleep quality.
There are many valuable and interesting facts about exercise circulating the web. Most of these facts revolve around the positive effect of exercise on a person’s physical and mental health.
So it’s not surprising that studies show that exercise can also improve the quality of our sleep. In fact, research suggests that 150 minutes or more of exercise can improve the quality of sleep by 65%.
In addition to improved sleep quality, a workout before bedtime causes the body to cool faster and makes falling asleep easier.
27. Listening to preferred music while exercising can improve an individual’s physical activity routine.
The latest research and studies on music and physical activities gave rise to some music and exercise facts.
For instance, one study found that allowing adults to listen to their preferred music increases the total distance covered during their run.
The study recorded a 10% increase in the test subjects’ total distance covered. As such, researchers suggest that coaches allow their athletes to listen to their preferred music during training and performances.
Global Trends in Physical Fitness
28. 59.1% of adults prefer outdoor activities the most going into 2021.
(Source: Run Repeat)
The pandemic forced most individuals to change their daily routines, including their exercise habits.
As a significant number of gyms closed down, it’s not surprising that the newest exercise trends lean towards outdoor or home exercises.
For example, the latest survey among active adults shows that 59.1% prefer running or hiking to stay fit than exercising at the gym.
29. According to the World Health Organization, adults need to perform 150 to 300 minutes of aerobic activity per week.
The World Health Organization is attempting to create new at home fitness trends amid the pandemic. For the World Health Organization, every movement matters when the situation forces most people to stay at home.
Therefore, the organization encourages adults, including those with chronic conditions, to take between 150 to 300 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or activity per week.
As for children, the organization recommends an average of 60 minutes of aerobic exercise daily.
30. Analysts believe the global health and fitness market value will reach $96.6 billion in 2024.
(Source: Globe Newswire)
According to researchers, the current global fitness trends will positively affect the health and fitness club market growth.
As a result, analysts believe the market will realize a compounding annual growth rate of 7.70% from 2020 to 2024. This will give rise to a $96.6 billion market value by 2024.
Several factors will positively affect this growth rate, such as rising disposable income, growing urban population, and increasing obesity.
But some challenges will also become a hindrance to growth, like increasing demand for home equipment and rising trend for outdoor activities.
31. About half of new members quit their gym membership within six months.
Gym membership cancellation is one of the fitness industry trends that gym owners need to contend with.
Statistics show that about 50% of the new members of health clubs and fitness gyms cancel their membership within six months.
This is a big problem that gym owners need to resolve. Some recommend an in-depth examination through membership surveys.
Some of the statistics about exercise and health we’ve discussed show how crucial training is to overall health. Despite the current limitations we have because of the pandemic, it’s essential for people of all ages to maintain a physically active lifestyle.
Aside from health, the many facts and benefits also make workout routines enticing. For example, research suggests that exercise improves people’s quality of sleep, sex drive, and mental health. All these benefits will result in a better life or a more enriched lifestyle.
Most people advise against working out on an empty stomach. This is because when you exercise on an empty stomach, you’ll burn valuable energy sources. Aside from this, you’ll also have less stamina and feel lightheaded because of low blood sugar levels.
When you’re lightheaded during your workout routine, you run the risk of passing out or getting injured.
Some people also believe that your body will adapt to using stored fat for energy when you exercise on an empty stomach. In effect, the body will respond by storing more fat than usual.
Many people agree that mornings are the best time to work out, and they have several reasons for believing this.
Exercising in the morning means you get to start your day with endorphins, a kind of chemical the body produces to relieve stress and pain.
Several studies also show that working out in the morning increases physical activity and metabolism. As a result, you burn more calories throughout the day.
According to experts, a person needs between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly to lose weight. This means that the recommended time for activities should be from 22 to 35 minutes a day.
However, experts also believe that prolonged periods of exercise will give better and faster weight loss results. So, if you want to see a more substantial weight loss outcome, you might like to extend your routine for 35 minutes of vigorous exercise or more.
Sleeping or taking a nap after a workout can have some benefits like muscle recovery, reduced physical fatigue, and increased mental alertness.
It’s common to experience feeling sleepy after an exercise. This is a sign of muscle fatigue. When this happens, you need to nap to let your body recover and decrease feelings of fatigue.
When you take a nap after your routine, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones that help repair and build muscle tissues.
Waking up early to exercise can be tiring and physically and mentally draining. When you sleep right after a workout, you’ll get a boost of mental energy for the rest of the day.
If you just started a workout routine, you may notice a significant change in your bowel movements, and this is normal.
Increased physical activity can help regulate bowel movements. This is because exercise helps improve the digestive system processes.
Apart from this, vigorous physical activities also help muscles in the colon contract more, allowing stool to pass through the intestines quickly. This is why a constipated person should exercise more to have a regular bowel movement.
Researchers and physical fitness gurus agree that exercise is a vital component of a person’s health and wellness. Not only can regular exercise prevent non-communicable diseases, but countless studies and exercise statistics also show it’s crucial to an improved lifestyle.
A workout routine as short as 30 minutes per day can help with diseases like stroke and some forms of cancer at bay. Physical activity also controls weight and promotes better sleep, and boosts energy. With all these benefits, it makes sense to maintain a daily workout routine.