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Survey Reveals Lack of Basic Diet and Exercise Knowledge 

VANCOUVER, Wash., July 30, 2015 – Americans talk a good health and fitness game, but they are flunking out when it comes to their actual knowledge. A new survey from Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE: NLS) found that Americans are failing in basic fitness, health and nutrition smarts. In fact, respondents scored 42 percent overall. If this survey were a class test, they’d have earned an F grade.

The Nautilus survey, powered by Instantly Survey Tool, questioned 1,038 men and women in the United States ages 18 and older in April 2015 to gauge Americans’ acumen when it comes to nutrition, health and fitness.

No matter what an individual’s health and fitness goals may be, understanding the fundamentals should be simple.

Of those surveyed, 74 percent didn’t know the correct daily sugar intake for adults (25 grams) or the number of calories needed to burn to lose a pound of fat (3,500). There was also a lot of misunderstanding about weight training for women — only 13 percent knew the truth: that it won’t add bulk, lead to a masculine physique or increase chest size.

When taking into account the overall percentage of correct answers, the lack of knowledge was fairly comparable across age and gender, although the younger generation outsmarted its elders:

  • 48 percent — young adults (18-24 yrs.) scored the highest as a group.
  • 36 percent — seniors (65+ yrs.) as a group, performed at the bottom.
  • 42 percent — men and women were equally misinformed.

The survey revealed that common misperceptions about health, diet and exercise persist. For example:

  • 45 percent thought that weight training turns fat into muscle.
  • There was confusion over healthy protein choices, as only 39 percent of people surveyed understood that eggs are a heart-healthy source of protein.
  • As for the best time of day to get the most effective workout? Forty-five percent selected morning, but the truth is that just about any time, including afternoon or evening, is equally as good.

The results highlight that while there is plenty of room for improvement, there are several bright spots. Many Americans surveyed (73 percent) know that walking a mile or running a mile doesn’t burn the same number of calories; while 67 percent understand that resting heart rate is a good indicator of aerobic fitness. More than half (57 percent) correctly identified examples of functional fitness exercises.

“This survey clearly shines a light on the confusion that remains and demonstrates that there are still improvements to be made in enabling people to make informed choices,” said Bruce Cazenave, CEO of Nautilus. “At Nautilus, we focus on inspiring others to pursue a healthy lifestyle, encouraging them to engage in a fitness plan they can stick with and offering products to support their efforts.”