A Study on Activity Levels Shows That 19 and 60-Year Olds Have More In Common Than You Think

This isn’t exactly something to celebrate.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Here’s a sad fact that could be contributing to America’s obesity problem: according to a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the country’s 19-year-olds are nearly as sedentary as its 60-year-olds.

The study, published in Preventive Medicine, analyzed data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2003 and 2004 and 2005 and 2006. In the survey, 12,529 Americas ages 6 to 84 wore fitness trackers for seven days to measure their activity levels. After analyzing the data, the Johns Hopkins researchers found that not only did adolescents not get enough exercise, but that activity levels decreased dramatically starting as early as age 35. Men had higher levels of physical activity in every age group than females, but after age 60, their activity levels dropped off much more sharply than women’s. The most surprising news: 19-year-olds were about as active as 60-year-olds.

The only group that increased its activity levels were subjects between the ages of 20 to 29, a spike researchers suggest could be related to life changes like graduating from college and entering the workforce.

Regardless of what age group you fall into one thing is clear: most of us aren’t getting as much exercise as we need. A wealth of research shows that physical activity is essential for our mental and physical health, so whether you’re going for a jog or simply taking the stairs at work, remember to do something active each day.

Read the full press release here.