ATLANTA (AP) â€” Future studies on exercise and fitness will take into account how much physical activity Americans get while on the job or working around the house.
Americans may be getting a lot more exercise than previously believed when such physical activity is taken into account, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study found â€” like others before it â€” that almost two-thirds of working Americans do not get enough exercise during their leisure time. However, the study also showed that nearly 44 percent of working Americans got at least one hour of hard occupational activity a day on the job or doing housework.
The survey questioned 20,766 adults in 1990.
``Typically we've been measuring leisure time activities,'' said the study's author, Deborah Jones, a scientist at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. ``But now we see the importance of accounting for other activities that people are participating in, and we'll start doing that in 2001.''
The CDC has developed a new questionnaire that takes into account physical activity at work, during child care and in maintaining a home, with activities such as vacuuming and gardening.
The government recommends adults participate in 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity every day to maintain fitness.
The 1990 survey indicated that of employed adults, 20 percent reported one to four hours a day of physical labor during the work day and 24 percent reported five hours or more.
The same survey asked working adults about their leisure-time activity. It found that 36 percent got the recommended amount of exercise through leisure activities alone.
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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov