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Philadelphians exercise less than much of America

Alfred Lubrano, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Health & Fitness

Still, for some, the news that our neighbors aren’t as into sit-ups as those residing in the Emerald City didn’t register as such a shock.

“You know, I’ve noticed that other sports teams’ mascots are in better shape than ours,” said bar owner William Reed, 54, of Fishtown. “I think the reason we have Gritty is our acceptance of a come-as-you-are look.” Certainly, the genial rotundity of the Phillie Phanatic suggests , he said, that “most of us can recognize something of ourselves in Gritty and the Phanatic.”

Perry Coco is not much into mascots, but he believes the report has him pegged.

“I don’t work out anymore,” said Coco, 64, of South Philadelphia, who’s retired from the construction industry. “As I got older, it got harder. You get ailments: knees, back — I have it all.

“Now my sons-in-law, they work a full day, then go to the gym for three hours. I wish I had that drive. I tell them, ‘Why not just take a shower after work and lie down?’”

Coco and others noted that Philadelphia is known as a big cycling burg, but, according to WalletHub, it doesn’t crack the top 10 most bike-friendly cities.

 

Overall, Terri Lipman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, said that the ChamberOfCommerce.org analysis “is no real surprise.”

In an evaluation of 250 local elementary school students by Penn Nursing, Lipman learned that many kids simply don’t have safe play spaces. She added, “Children spend too much time looking at screens and insufficient time in gym and sports classes in school.”

Noting that Philadelphia is the poorest of the largest U.S. cities, Lipman said people living in poverty face “multiple pressing issues.” Physical activity requires attention to self-care, which is difficult when that’s competing with other survival responsibilities layered onto a person, she said.

Individuals with higher incomes are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines than their lower-income counterparts, according to the ChamberOfCommerce.org analysis.

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