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Hottest Active Sports in America: New Top 10 List


Want to know which sports or activities Americans are participating in to become fit and healthy? Which sport or activity is the new craze?

The newly released Physical Activity Council report answers these questions and more.  You will see the top calorie burning activities and sports with the greatest growth in participants and percentage growth in the past two years among other information.

PHIT America, an educational and advocacy group that is promoting a Movement for a Fit and Healthy America, has dug into the research and made some interesting observations. In general, Americans are walking, running, swimming and biking and enjoying the great outdoors.

Another tidbit: Not one traditional athletic activity is listed among the top 10 active sports in the United States. Here are some other newsworthy trends:

  • Walking is King – Walking for Fitness is America’s #1 choice for exercise and has more participants than the next two activities combined;
  • Enjoying Mother Nature – Trail running, recreational kayaking, and day hiking are ‘hot’ sports to watch;
  • Free Spirits in Sport – Non-traditional/off-road triathlons and adventure racing are the top two activities with the strongest percentage growth gains in the last two years;
  • Road Runners Rule – Among standard fitness pursuits, running/jogging is thriving and showing steady growth in participation;
  • Inside & Outside – Among the top ten growth categories (by percentage) for sports participation, all ten take place in either an air-conditioned club or in an outdoor setting; and
  • Aquatic Appeal – The sport with the largest growth in overall participation in recent years is fitness swimming.

“Among the sports participation categories analyzed, it appears that many Americans are ‘polar opposites’ as they are attracted to a multitude of outdoor/non competitive sports and to fitness activities at a health club,” said Mike May, Marketing Adviser for PHIT America.

The Physical Activity Council research is a six-year study surveying 41,000 Americans ages 6-and-up every year. The panelists are asked a series of questions, including if they participate in any of 104 activities or sports and their frequency of participation.



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