Here’s one time you definitely don’t want to be aligned with the majority. A recent telephone survey of almost 80,000 adults over age 20 shows that the most frequently reported nonsleep, nonwork activity is….eating and drinking!
I find it difficult to believe that 95.6% of the people in the survey report that they get most of their activity from eating! Not so difficult to believe is that 80.1% have a primary activity of watching TV. We all know we’re primarily a nation of couch potatoes.
Remember this initial statistic encompasses all types of activity. The story gets even worse.
The most frequently reported moderate activity, where you actually get your heart rate up a bit, is: preparing foods and beverages! I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I felt that fixing dinner was moderate intensity exericse. Maybe the time I lugged the 20 pound turkey up the stairs from the basement, but hey – that only happens once each year on Thanksgiving.
Only 5% of the people surveyed said they ever get vigorous activity. Thank goodness that doesn’t have anything to do with chewing and swallowing. The most frequently reported vigorous activity is using cardiovascular equipment (2.2%) and running (1.1%). They didn’t include data on people who are eating while they run, or who prepare meals while riding their exercise bike.
I’m going to think about this information tomorrow when I go out for a hard, vigorous run.