In the battle of the sexes, the men have us beat in one area: working out. According to a recent study published in the journal Preventive Medicine, the average man gets almost twice as much activity a day as the average woman.
Researchers from Oregon State University looked at more than 1,000 men and women from a nationally represented sample and found that women were getting only about 18 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily, compared to men who, on average, were getting 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily. Instead of relying on self-reported data, the researchers had the study participants wear accelerometers that measured daily activity.
Getting at least 30 minutes a day of exercise is the magic number for reaping big health benefits, including reducing the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, gaining extra weight around the middle and depression. In the study, slightly more than one in three women had metabolic syndrome, and one in five had symptoms of depression.
Some evidence indicates that women, compared to men, have less confidence in their ability to overcome their exercise-related barriers, the researchers say in a release on the study. Also, women often cite a lack of time to exercise due to child-rearing. However, the researchers found that adults can still enhance their health by getting physical activity in short periods throughout the day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or pacing while talking on the phone.
How many minutes of activity do you get a day? Do you think that's more or less than your male counterparts?
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.