Get Off The Couch: New Study Shows Millions Are Inactive
There’s never been a better argument for getting Americans off the couch and onto skis or snowboards. A new study shows 68.2 million people are inactive, up from 67.2 last year. Wrong direction.
The study was undertaken by the Physical Activity Council (PAC), a partnership of six major trade associations in the sports, fitness, and leisure industries. SnowSports Industries America (SIA) was one of the participants. There is a very modest silver lining, however. As inactivity among children ages six to 12 fell slightly from 4.6 million kids in 2010 to 4.5 million in 2011.
But, back to adults. Those 18 and older not participating in any of the physical activities measured continues to rise, going from 58.7 million in 2010 to 60 million last year.
There is also a bit of good news for those who love the snow. Snow sports participation was up slightly – in the low single digits.
“The 2012 Participation Report shows very clearly there’s a lot more work that needs to take place to get more American’s active,” says Tom Cove, president and CEO of the Sporting Goods. Manufacturing Association. “That means part of the country’s national agenda to reduce obesity and get health care costs in line has to include a component that addresses ways to get people off their couches and moving.”
The report noted that the economy still had a “slight impact” on sports and recreation spending. Most Americans said they plan to increase spending on sports and recreation in 2012.
Where do the most active Americans live? The northern and western states. Inactivity was reported lower in the southern states.
There is an interesting sidelight to the survey, assuming active sports enthusiasts want to make their feelings known to government officials.
“In this year’s study, for the first time, we asked about people’s plans to vote in the upcoming presidential election,” said David Ingemie, SIA president and CEO. “Most of them plan to vote. It would be great if there were more physically and mentally active people, and more voters.”
Participating trade associations, other than SIA, include the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association; Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Foundation; International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association; National Golf Foundation; Tennis Industry Association, and U.S. Tennis Association.
What It Means: Who do you that is inactive? Get them to the mountains.