SI Vault
Edited by Ron Reid
February 12, 1979
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February 12, 1979


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Ninety million adult Americans have now taken up some form of exercise in pursuit of physical fitness. Most of them will be surprised to know that, contrary to popular belief:

?Active people smoke as much as those who get no regular exercise.
?The physically active and inactive report the same amount of sleep.
?Women are taking up some form of exercise at a more rapid rate than men.
?Twenty-three percent of the general public say that nothing would be likely to get them involved in any form of physical activity.

These are some of the findings from a study done by Pollster Lou Harris for Perrier. Based on 1,510 interviews and a telephone sample of 180 runners, the poll found that while 59% of the American adult population are involved in some sort of exercise, only 15% can be classified as "High Actives," whose favorite sports are calisthenics, running and basketball. Those not so zealous are more partial to bowling, swimming and walking, which is still the most popular form of exercise.

On the basis of his poll, Harris also says that 5% of the chair-bound "Non-actives" will take up jogging in 1979 but that the jogging craze is slowing down. The rougher contact sports also have fallen out of favor with parents of both sons and daughters. Parents are one of the strongest influences on physical fitness, and Harris predicts that if they continue to have a strong impact on the sports their children take up, football, boxing and wrestling may be on the way out.


What are the chances of playing in just two losing NFL games in a season, yet not participating in the playoffs? Ask Greg McCrary.

A backup tight end and special-teams player, McCrary is a four-year veteran who was traded from Atlanta to Washington at the end of the 1978 exhibition season. He was on the Redskin roster for six games—all of them victories—before he was waived, sat idle for one week and then joined San Diego in time to play in its last nine games.

The Chargers closed by winning seven of those contests, giving McCrary a personal 13-2 record (.867) to contemplate while he watched the Super Bowl. On television, of course.


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