Even people dedicated enough to log their workouts on a smartphone app don’t exercise as much as experts say they should.
That is a piece of the picture painted by 2014 data from MapMyFitness, one of the most popular workout-tracking apps in the U.S., with 22 million users. Users tell the app they’re taking a walk or run, for instance, and it tracks the number of minutes of activity and registers their location. So a vacationing Vermonter’s run in Santa Fe would show up in New Mexico’s workout minutes.
California topped all states in exercise with 87 workout minutes a week per user. The state has favorable weather and has long been a center of healthy activity. It was followed by Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Arizona.
“There’s a huge environmental contributor to that,” says John Bartholomew, director of the Exercise and Sport Psychology Laboratory at the University of Texas. “Access to parks is tremendous. If you think about Seattle or Oregon, the ability to get out into nature is something that attracts people.” Mr. Bartholomew wasn’t involved in the app analysis.
MapMyFitness users track their activity through smartphones or other connected devices, or enter it into the apps’ websites. Data scientists at Under Armour, which owns MapMyFitness, analyzed the information for the state rankings. This includes data from sister apps such as MapMyRun and MapMyRide.