When Americans Work Out — Compared To Everyone Else

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TreadmillTicker_ZhangQingyun_sizedIllustrated by Zhang Qingyun.
Did you think about waking up early to go for a run this morning, only to hit snooze and postpone your session until after work? (Don't worry; we, too, are guilty as charged.) Mornings are rough enough — why not wait and exercise after a day of heavy caffeinating? And, according to new data, it seems these exercise habits are in the majority — stateside, at least. Most Americans prefer to save their runs for the evening hours.

The most popular time for logging miles in the U.S. is between 6 and 7 p.m. These findings are part of an analysis of data logged with the tracking app RunKeeper, along with the team at Runner’s World magazine. The full report also looks at international runners and provides a breakdown of the most popular times to work up a sweat in each country.

Like Americans, it seems that most people around the world prefer to sleep in — the exception being India, the only country that notes more morning runners than evening ones. Why? Getting up and out is a way to avoid the heat and traffic congestion, notes a runner and former editor of Runner’s World who now lives in Mumbai. On the flip side, runners in China, Korea, and Japan hit the roads later (between 8 and 11 p.m.) and 6% of Korean runners log their miles between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Falling firmly in the middle of the lark vs. night-owl debate are runners in France and Switzerland, who enjoy lunchtime workouts. Most Swiss shops have a two-hour break between 12 and 2 p.m., which leaves plenty of time go for a midday run, shower, and refuel with a nutritious meal.

The weekends are a different story: Saturday and Sunday runs occuring between 7 and 11 a.m. are the most popular in America. Without commutes and work dominating your morning, you can get exercise out of the way with plenty of time left to get stuff done — be it errands, day-drinking, or both. For a quick overview of popular running times, check out the pie chart below. And, it being Thursday, we'll expect to see you on the roads after work.

RWRKPieChartsPhoto: Courtesy Of RunKeeper.