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Physical Activity Survey, 2006

The views of 1,011 age 18+ Americans about physical activity and exercise are the focus of this AARP survey which explores their perceptions of the benefits of exercise, personal exercise preferences, and past and present activity patterns.

Some key findings:

  • Nearly half of those interviewed said they have been physically active for a year or longer. Not surprisingly, women and men note different reasons for exercising, with women saying they do so for health and weight reasons, and men, as a way of socializing with others. Women also report walking as their preferred type of exercise, while men note group sports such as basketball, racquetball and soccer.
  • Among those who said they were not currently active or who were planning to be more active in the next few months, 58 percent said they don't exercise because they feel tired or lack energy, 50 percent cited a lack of time, and 41 percent feel bad weather hinders their exercise routine.
  • When respondents were asked if they had ever overestimated the amount of time they exercise when asked by their doctor, less than one percent reported having done so.

Interviews were conducted for the AARP Bulletin by International Communications Research (ICR) as part of an omnibus survey between March 29th through April 3rd, 2006. Further information about the study may be obtained by contacting Dr. Keenan of AARP Knowledge Management at 202-434-6274. (9 pages)

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