Study Shows Obese Women Only Get One Hour of Exercise a Year

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A new study suggests that the average obese woman only gets one hour of vigorous exercise per year, while obese men don't fare much better with a little over three hours of exercise per year. [Tweet this shocking fact!] I know, we had to take a moment and make sure we read that correctly, too.

The dismal findings startled researchers, who were hoping to gain better insight into how much exercise the average person really gets.

"They're living their lives from one chair to another," Edward Archer, a research fellow with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told HealthDay. "We didn't realize we were that sedentary. There are some people who are vigorously active, but it's offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive."

Researchers examined the results of a 2006 government survey of adults aged 20 to 74. Among other things, the survey tracked the weight, diet, and sleep patterns of nearly 2,600 adults. However, the researchers noted that the term "vigorous exercise" was very narrowly defined within this context, and also that the devices used to track physicaly activity didn't measure swimming or biking very well.

"The data was there, but no one looked at it and parsed it the way we did," Archer says. "There is a great deal of variability; some are moving probably a fair amount. But the vast majority [of people] are not moving at all."

In a country where close to two-thirds of the adult population is estimated to be overweight or obese, this isn't promising news. But if anything, this study serves as a reminder that even moderate exercise can provide a number of health benefits, including weight loss and improved energy.

What do you think of the study results? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us @Shape_Magazine!

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