33% of Americans active to a healthy level

May 1, 2013

Washington, DC ‐‐ One-third of the American population age 6 and up is “active to a healthy level,” according to the latest study released by the Physical Activity Council (PAC), a consortium of six major sports, fitness, and leisure trade associations.

The PAC study utilizes a new “calorie burning” component to define activities as low, medium, or high calorie-burning activities. The groundbreaking “active to a healthy level” statistic is defined by the number of Americans that take part in a high calorie-burning activity three or more times a week. Using this definition, the PAC is able to determine that 94.8 million Americans age 6 and older, or 33%, are active to a healthy level.

“Having a third of the U.S. participate in activities to a level deemed healthy is encouraging,” said PAC Chairman and SFIA President & CEO Tom Cove. “It also means that two-thirds of the country is not active to a healthy level and we as a society need to find ways to get America moving. I know the PAC is exploring ways in which this can be done, but the need for more activity needs to be on our national agenda as obesity and health care costs continue to rise.”

The PAC study also shows that 80.4 million Americans age 6 and up, or 28%, are inactive. Inactivity, for this study, is defined as those that participate in no sports/activities, including all those covered by the PAC. This is the first time, dating back to 2007, that the number of inactive Americans has reached over 80 million.

The PAC’s annual Participation Report measures overall levels of activity and identifies trends in 119 specific sports, fitness and recreation activities. The Report also examines spending habits, the effect of physical education, and participation interests among non-participants. The Report was conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys USA, and the findings are based on an annual online survey of more than 42,000 Americans age 6 and older.

New to the report for 2013 is an analysis of Generation Z, or those born after 2000. The study, which now has significant numbers in the 6-12 age group, reveals that participation levels are high for Generation Z, as over 50% take part in team sports or outdoor activities.

The full version of the 2013 PAC Study can be found at

Physical Activity Council

The Physical Activity Council (PAC) is made up of six of the leading sports and manufacturer associations that are dedicated to growing participation in their respective sports and activities. To understand their audiences, these organizations conduct annual studies that provide comprehensive, accurate and actionable data on sports participation.

The PAC is made up of the following trade and industry associations:

Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), 301.495.6321

Snowsports Industries America (SIA), 703.556.9020

Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Foundation (OIA) and (OF), 202.271.3252

International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub, Association (IHRSA), 617.951.0055

National Golf Foundation (NGF), 561.744.6006

Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA), 866.686.3036