Buffalo-Niagara region ranked in bottom ten for exercise

Sep 22, 2017

Buffalo residents enjoy many things, but hitting the gym isn’t necessarily one of them.

The Buffalo-Niagara falls region ranked in the bottom ten out 189 regions in residents who reported regular exercise, according to a survey conducted by The Gallup-Sharecare Wellness Index. The survey found just 46.5 percent of residents in the area exercise regularly.

The survey defined regular exercise as 30 minutes or more for multiple days per week. Boulder, CO came in first place at 69.6%.

The semantics of the questions may have played an important role in the low ranking, according to Phillip Haberstro, Executive Director of the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, noting the distinction between exercise and physical activity

“Particularly with older adults, they have a real defined image of exercise in their mind,” said Haberstro, “So it’s possible that had language been, 'Are you physically active?', I think we would have done better.”

Haberstro says community involvement in helping residents become more physically active can play an important role in improving the lives of Western New Yorkers.

“There is a great deal of collaboration amongst public, private, and nonprofit groups to try and improve that. It starts with our schools, district wellness policies, programs like Walk Your Children To School Day.”

Despite ranking so low in residents who engage in exercise, Buffalo placed high in both active living and healthy eating. Buffalo placed in the top third of active living lifestyles and ranked 77th out of 189 regions of residents who have a healthy eating lifestyle.