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There is some good news about Americans’ health, according to a 2016 report from the Physical Activity Council. Americans are participating more in sports, fitness, and recreation than the previous year. In 2015 there were 212.6 million active people taking part in a wide range of sports and fitness activities, compared to 209.3 actives in 2014. The overall levels of inactivity decreased slightly in the last 12 months from 28.3 percent of Americans age six and older in 2014 to 27.7 percent in 2015. However, there are still 81.6 million inactive Americans. The study defines an “inactive” person as those participants who reported no physical activity in 2015 and an additional 18 sports/fitness activities that require minimal to no physical exertion.

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.

Swimming is a popular interest among all age groups, according to the survey, followed by outdoor activities like camping and biking. Youth participants heavily favor team sports while adults enjoy fitness activities the most.

Looking at the inactive participants who would like to take up sports, fitness, and recreation programs at some point, they indicate they would prefer to participate with someone else as a motivating force to becoming active. Also, current health conditions and not having more leisure time prevent those inactive participants from being active.

While the numbers are only slightly higher when compared to the previous year, they are still moving in a positive direction. The report shows that 56 percent of the population ages 6 and over are participating in at least one high caloric burning activity. The report also states that although Americans may not be as active as often as in the past, they continue to keep moving at some level of fitness.

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