Poll: Frequent Exercise Slightly Up in 2012


Frequent Exercise chart

Good news regarding exercise, in light of the report on obesity that was released the other day.

More Americans exercised frequently in August (54.7%) than did in the same month in past years — continuing a pattern Gallup and Healthways have found through most of 2012. In every month this year, except for April, more Americans reported exercising three or more days per week than did so in the same month for each of the past four years.

Gallup and Healthways ask 1,000 American adults daily about their exercise habits as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Specifically, Americans report how many days in the past seven they exercised for at least 30 minutes.

The uptick in frequent exercise this year has come amid “the warmest first eight months of any year on record” in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Whether there is a direct relationship between these warm temperatures and higher exercise levels — or it is mere coincidence — is not certain.

However, that Americans’ exercise habits are seasonal — they work out more in the spring and summer months and less in the fall and winter — points to the weather playing a role in their likelihood of exercising.

Good job, America!

And, while this slight increase may be seasonal and related to the weather, it is also possible that educational efforts promoting a healthy lifestyle may be having an effect.