A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that only 28 percent of Americans are meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines, writes Forbes. The CDC recommends that adults 18 and over do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening activity per week.
Moderate exercise means any workout that increases heart rate and muscle strengthening entails working muscles harder than usual. The likelihood of a person meeting the activity goal also varies greatly based on demographics. Those living in the western U.S. are more likely to be hitting both goals, while those living in the South are least likely, ABC News reports.
People living in cities and metropolitan areas also have a higher percentage of adults meeting the requirements at 28 percent, while only 16 percent of adults outside of cities are meeting the goals, reports Forbes. While these numbers are low, the CDC notes that the data for the study was collected in 2020, when the pandemic likely prompted lower-than-average physical activity.
However, "a national paradigm shift is needed," according to the authors of the study, especially since approximately half of American adults have at least one chronic illness that could be prevented by regular exercise, continues Forbes. For this reason, the CDC launched its Active People, Healthy Nation program to encourage Americans to become more active.
"This body of…evidence is important for understanding rural-urban disparities in physical activity and tracking the attainment of national objectives; however, it is only the first step," wrote the report authors.