Gallup: Exercise drops during bad economy

July 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM
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BOSTON, July 19 (UPI) -- As the U.S. financial crisis took hold, adults curbed their weekly exercise and they still haven't recovered to 2008 levels, a Gallup poll indicates.

Americans' frequent exercise levels fell in the fall of 2008 as the recession took hold and remained suppressed in 2009, partially rebounded in 2010, but exercise levels are still not as high as in 2008, Gallup says.

Gallup asked 1,000 U.S. adults daily about their exercise habits as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which indicates 53.4 percent of adults who reported exercising for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week in June still trails the 54.3 percent in the same month in 2008, the survey says.

Fewer than 50 percent of those age 65 and older reported exercising for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week in the first half of 2011 -- the age group the least likely to say they exercise frequently and the group with the largest decrease in exercise levels since 2008, Gallup says.

In addition, those ages 45-64, Hispanics, and those living in the east are also among the most likely to report exercising less this year than in 2008.

The telephone interview poll, conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2 to June 30, has a margin of error of 1 percentage point.

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