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Chapter 5. Health and Wellness

Indicator 44. Exercise

In 2008, about 44 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 indicated that they never engaged in vigorous physical activity16 during their leisure time; about 5 percent exercised less than once per week, 19 percent exercised 1–2 times per week, 17 percent exercised 3–4 times per week, and 15 percent exercised 5 or more times per week. A greater percentage of male than female young adults in 2008 reported that they participated in vigorous physical activity 5 or more times per week (20 vs. 10 percent). In turn, a greater percentage of females than males in this age range reported that they never engaged in vigorous physical activity (52 vs. 36 percent).

Differences in reported leisure-time physical activity were also found by race/ethnicity and educational attainment in 2008. For example, Black and Hispanic young adults reported a lack of vigorous physical activity at higher rates (56 percent each) than White and Asian young adults (38 and 40 percent, respectively). In addition, greater percentages of young adults with lower levels of education generally reported a lack of exercise than did their peers with higher levels of education. For example, about 56 percent of young adults who did not finish high school reported never exercising compared with 31 percent of young adults who had a bachelor's or higher degree. In general, few measurable differences were found in reported rates of vigorous physical activity in 2008 compared with 1999.

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16 Persons who indicated that they were unable to do vigorous physical activity are included in this category.