Men Work Out More Than Women

A recent Oregon State University study showed that men, on average, perform 30 minutes of moderate to strenuous exercise every day. Women? A measly 18.  The sad thing is that it appears women benefit more from exercise than men, at least in terms of gaining and maintaining strength.

The study on exercise and health had over 1,000 subjects who were selected nationally.  Those who worked out 30 minute per day had:

  • less depression
  • lower chance of high cholesterol
  • less incidence of metabolic syndrome

Researchers aren’t sure why, but women benefited more than men when they were able to get in 30 minutes of exercise per day.  Women often cited child-rearing responsibilities as the reason why they didn’t have time to workout.

This study surprised me a lot.  I wouldn’t have thought twice and said women workout more than men.  No question. My view of the world is a bit skewed, however, since I own a Pilates studio and train mostly women.  But even so, a slightly higher percentage of women than men have gym memberships.  I guess us gals have good intentions but not as good follow through.

If you’re a guy reading this, and you’re a member of the 30-minute-a-day club, good for you.  If you’re a man or a woman and you’re below that number, what are you going to do to reach that half hour a day mark?  This is important! You’re fooling around with the quality of your life as you age and with longevity itself.  Surely it’s more important to be active for 30 minutes a day than it is to watch TV?  Right??

What do you think of the study?  Were you surprised that men are more consistent at their workouts than women?  What do you do to workout on a regular basis?  Is child care a good excuse or just a cop out?

Let me know,

Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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7 Responses to Men Work Out More Than Women

  1. Staci May 8, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    Wow, that is honestly really surprising, especially given the objectification of women in general. I thought we were ALL feeling the pressure to be thin and drop-dead gorgeous. Phew. ;)

    I think the comment in the article about time-challenged hits home for me. I force time into my day to work out. I’m a newly single mom and I have found that getting up at 5:30 has helped me get at least a good strength circuit in before needing to get ready. I also do Zumba once or twice a week and other stuff with my son (bike rides, etc.).

    You realize it when your child is waiting for you to finish getting ready because, as a woman, there’s just more to do. Men don’t have to apply makeup or style their hair or shave their legs every day or … or … I don’t want to whine about being a woman; it’s not that at all. There is just more to do to take care of ourselves so finding that extra 30 minutes to work out is tough.

    Anyway, interesting. I’m not going to add to the number that makes us worse off, though. :)

  2. Lisa Johnson May 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Staci, well said, for whatever reason (societal, other) women generally do take longer to get ready in the morning. I know there are exceptions on both sides, men who take forever primping and women who just slap on clothes and go … but that is something to take into consideration. :-) And major kudos to you for being a single Mom and still taking care of yourself. It’s so important. :-)

  3. Deb May 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Based upon what I see in the gym, men work out considerably more than women. (and I work out at a time when the child care is open.) I would guess there are usually 2 men to each woman there.

  4. Doug May 10, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Based on my own anecdotal evidence, I was really surprised by this study. In my hometown of Toronto, I see more women on the street jogging, more women at the health club and 75% of my personal training business is women.

  5. Lisa Johnson May 10, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Doug, I thought the same thing … so it’s interesting, maybe all the guys have gyms in their basements ;-) Something to keep an eye on though. OR … maybe men lied more during the study.

  6. Colleen May 11, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Considering that more women then men take primary responsibility for children, day and night, sick and well, whether parents are married or single and considering that woman tend to make less money than men I think it is highly likely that there are a lot of women too tired and too poor to workout. Working in community health care with babies and young children I see this often.

  7. Lisa Johnson May 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Colleen, thanks for your insight, I hear you. I would say you don’t necessarily need money to be fit, but you do need energy and time and that can be hard to scrape together when you’re a working Mom, especially hard if you’re a single Mom. L–

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