I’m always amazed by what correlates with education. The latest statistic I’ve learned about is regular exercise. It appears that the less education you have, the more likely you are just to laze around:
This data comes from the CDC and is technically the percentage of adults aged >25 years who reported regular leisure-time physical activity. Two things immediately stand out here:
- If you’re poorly educated, you’re not exercising (and therefore, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest more likely to be obsese)
- The trend is incredibly disturbing: only the well educated are engaging in more physical activity now vs. 10 years ago
I can’t help but wonder if this is going to become a self-reinforcing process. Let’s speculate: if you’re poorly educate, you’re probably poorer. Therefore you might have to work two jobs/more hours and have less time for leisure time and be more tired. You probably also have less disposable income and therefore eat more fast food. You’re getting squeezed by the current economy (and the long term trend that Chinese/Indian/Mexican workers are always going to be cheaper than you…).
If you’re highly educated, you can afford to eat better and have more job opportunities to keep your salary up while you are enough of a commodity to maintain a work-life balance. What’s more, is that there are a whole host of services for you to keep you fit: gyms are an obvious one, but more interesting are the emerging class of high-end devices like the the LifeScan diabetes iPhone application and tracking tools like the FitBit.
This will be one long-term trend to monitor; hopefully the CDC will get us data more than once every 10 years.