Americans and Europeans continue to struggle with grasping basic personal health and fitness concepts, according to a study commissioned by Nautilus and released this month.
The second annual Fitness IQ Survey showed Americans scored an average of 42 percent and Europeans scored an average of 39 percent when it comes to general health and fitness knowledge. The survey was conducted by Survey Sampling International.
The survey questioned 2,600 men and women ages 18 and older in May on their understanding of health, nutrition and fitness topics.
“When it comes to health and fitness, this data shows there is room for improvement on both sides of the Atlantic. And it starts at home with the personal health and fitness choices we make every day," Tom Holland, exercise physiologist, certified sports nutritionist and fitness advisor to Nautilus, said in a statement. “Knowledge is the first step in encouraging us to make smart decisions about what we eat and to get us moving.”
Browse this photo gallery for results from the study. The Fitness IQ quiz is available on Nautilus' website here.
More than half of Americans (55 percent) and Europeans (61 percent) did not know the recommended daily calorie intake for adults — about 2,000 calories.
About 48 percent of Americans and 53 percent of Europeans believed that fat could turn into muscle as a result of weight training.
More than half of Europeans (59 percent) did not understand the wide spectrum of benefits that strength training can offer: improving cardio fitness, burning calories and fat, and aiding in weight loss.
Only 36 percent of Europeans and 23 percent of Americans could accurately define body weight exercises — strength training moves that do not require free weights but rather use an individual’s own weight to provide resistance.
A high number of Europeans (71 percent) could not correctly identify a functional fitness exercise — moves that train your muscles for daily use and often mimic common movements. However, more than half of Americans (59 percent) could pick out a functional fitness move, making them almost twice as knowledgeable about this major fitness trend.
More than 60 percent of both Americans and Europeans did not know that sweating more during a workout can indicate a higher level of personal fitness.
Although the survey results suggest that there is room for improvement, the results also offered several bright spots. Nearly half of Europeans (49 percent) understand what happens to the body after an individual stops working out — muscle starts to atrophy or waste away. In addition, many Americans (70 percent) and Europeans (78 percent) know that walking a mile or running a mile doesn’t burn the same number of calories.
"This year’s survey demonstrates that there is still work to be done around educating consumers to make smart choices about their health — not only in the United States, but abroad as well," Bruce Cazenave, CEO, Nautilus, said in a statement. "Our team continues to focus on supporting our customers to live a healthy lifestyle by empowering them with the innovative solutions they need along their fitness journeys."
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