Americans aren’t doing too great when it comes to fitness. Over 68 percent of adults are considered overweight or obese, and childhood obesity continues to rise.
This trend may be rooted in a lack of knowledge about health and fitness. A recent study conducted by exercise equipment manufacturer Nautilus Inc. found that Americans scored an average of 42 percent on a test assessing basic health and fitness knowledge. Europeans fared even worse.
If you are a frequent reader of STACK, many of the topics covered in the test will seem ridiculously simple. But to the average American, unfortunately that’s not the case.
Here are some notes from the test.
People don’t know how much they should eat. 55 percent of Americans were not aware of the recommended daily caloric intake of 2,000 calories. Yes, this varies significantly from person to person, but this general recommendation is printed on every food label.
People believe fat can turn into muscle. 48 percent of Americans think this. It would be great if it were true, but unfortunately that’s not the way the body works.
Some people can’t accurately define a bodyweight exercise. 23 percent of Americans got this wrong, which tells us that they have almost zero fitness knowledge as the term is basically defined.
Yet 59 percent can identify a functional fitness exercise. An impressive number of people can identify exercises that mimic common movements in life and sports.
60 percent of people believe that sweating means you aren’t fit. This is tough. It’s not something we would expect people to know unless they were extremely passionate about fitness. But yes, heavy sweaters can be extremely fit.
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Some people don’t know that walking and running don’t burn the same number of calories. The study pointed out that 70 percent of people know the two activities burn different amounts of calories, but what about the other 30 percent?
The information from this study tells us that we have a long way to go in educating the U.S. population about health and fitness. If people understood basic concepts,, maybe they would make better choices that could lead to a longer, healthier and more active life.
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