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America: A Nation of Couch Potatoes

Monkey Business / Thinkstock

While many studies have shown that sitting is bad for our bodies, most Americans are struggling to get enough movement into their day. In a new study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers found that the average person is getting less than two minutes of activity per day. 

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham placed data sensors on 2,600 people to see how much activity they did throughout the day. They found that obese women averaged 11 seconds of vigorous activity (meaning a jog or brisk uphill walk) daily, while normal weight men and women exercised vigorously for less than two minutes a day. 

When moderate exercise, like yoga or golf, were counted, normal weight men and women averaged closer to two and a half to four hours a week. For the healthy weight population, that's great news and in line with the recommended exercise. For the obese population, this shows once again that obese men and women are stuck in an unhealthy cycle of inactivity.

For more on improving a sedentary lifestyle, read Joe Kita's blog series, "Small Steps to Big Change."

Tags: Women, Health, Weight Loss