One-Third of Pennsylvanians Exercise Zero Times a Week

Sigh. Just ... sigh.

An interesting item turned up in my inbox this afternoon (that’s snail-mail inbox, by the way): a package from the Pennsylvania Medical Society containing the latest edition of The Patient Poll, a collection of recent surveys of adult patients in Pennsylvania on issues ranging from car safety to workplace health to healthcare reform. The exercise and diet portions caught my eye in particular—and then they made me sort of sad.

According to the poll, 39.3 percent of Pennsylvanians report spending zero to one hour per week exercising. About a third—32.7 percent—say they log zero sweat sessions on a weekly basis. The Centers for Disease Control recommends adults get a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

Interestingly—and, perhaps, rightly—Pennsylvanians are concerned with salt intake. Nearly half of respondents say they are “careful” about how much salt they add to their food. And 32 percent say they pay attention to the sodium content in the food they buy. Another 32.6 percent say they don’t pay attention to their salt consumption. Too much sodium in a person’s diet can cause high blood pressure—which in turn contributes to heart disease.

Other numbers of note: 85.6 percent of Pennsylvanians say the state should pass a law to make texting while driving a violation for which police can stop a driver and issue a ticket. And 67.1 percent of you think the state should pass legislation to create rules for when a high school athlete with a concussion can return to the game.