No gym, no problem: 60% believe these everyday chores can keep you fit

NEW YORK — Six in 10 Americans swear they can “get all the exercise they need” without ever stepping foot inside a gym. A new survey of 2,000 U.S. adults found the average person says they’re “active” five times a week and exercise four times a week — with 54 percent saying they “never” go to the gym.

Almost all respondents (98%) believe they can get a workout while doing everyday tasks. That includes harnessing the power of everyday activities like walking around the neighborhood (74%), taking the stairs (60%), doing yard work (59%), cleaning (59%), walking the dog (56%), and shopping for groceries (42%).

Other tasks that people compare to exercising include gardening (40%), taking the trash out (36%), stretching after getting out of bed (35%), doing dishes or laundry (33%), standing on your feet for at least four hours (30%), or even getting kids ready for school (10%).

Commissioned by Nature’s Bounty, a vitamin and probiotic brand, and conducted by OnePoll, the study also revealed that 70% believe they’re healthy, and many compared their level of health with different physical activity levels. Embracing these activities as part of a balanced lifestyle could contribute to overall well-being. One in 10 Americans reported feeling as if they were a superhero or professional athlete, while 17 percent felt 10 years younger after being active. Seven in 10 still feel “impressed” with how active they were a week later.

While more than three-quarters (77%) were reportedly aware of how active their bodies are during the week, 65% said they’d be willing to go further in their activities, exploring their physical capabilities while exercising.

Of them, 80% at least occasionally test their physical limits while exercising. Half of these go-getters see the benefits of pushing themselves by feeling more confident (54%), walking farther (52%), and noticing their bodies look better (46%).

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) imagine they could accomplish tasks they could never do before if they could just improve their physical abilities by 10%.

exercise tasks

“It’s encouraging to recognize how everyday activities can feel like feats of strength to so many people and to understand that our bodies have an innate ability to support our overall health and wellness too — the power is already within us,” says Jaclyn Safrath, MS, MPH, medical affairs manager at Nestlé Health Science, the maker of Nature’s Bounty, in a statement. “But it’s clear that many want to constantly improve their health — finding ways to give that extra 10 percent and push what their bodies can do.”

At the core of this research into physical fitness, the study authors found a connection between diet and activity levels. More than a quarter (28%) believe their diet has a major impact on their immune system, and 24% similarly believe their diet has a major impact on their physical activity. A whopping 90% believe their overall digestive health impacts their physicality and immune system.

To improve their digestive health, 63% would likely use a probiotic supplement to support their digestive health. Three in four would be willing to change their diet for the better if it could improve their physical activity levels. Over half (54%) would change most or all of what they eat as a result.

“The human body is a brilliant system, and every day it’s hustling on our behalf,” Safrath continues. “Take, for instance, the digestive system where tens of trillions of ‘good’ bacteria already live in the gut supporting so many of the body’s functions, including immune health. Probiotics help supplement the body’s own ingenious system.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Nature’s Bounty between Feb. 28 and Mar. 4, 2024. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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