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Report Methodology

This Overview Report from the Physical Activity Council (PAC) is produced by a partnership of six of the major trade associations in US sports, fitness and leisure industries. Each partner produces more detailed reports on their specific areas of interest but this Overview Report summarizes “topline” data about levels of activity in the US. The overall aim of this report is to establish levels of activity and identify key trends in sports, fitness and recreation participation in the US. For more detailed results, please contact the relevant partner listed below.

During January and February of 2013 ,a total of 19,240 online interviews were carried out with a nationwide sample of individuals and households from the US Online Panel of over one million people operated by Synovate/IPSOS. A total of 7,528 individual and 11,712 household surveys were completed. The total panel is maintained to be representative of the US population for people ages 6 and older. Over sampling of ethnic groups took place to boost response from typically under responding groups.

The 2014 participation survey sample size of 19,240 completed interviews provides a high degree of statistical accuracy. All surveys are subject to some level of standard error — that is, the degree to which the results might differ from those obtained by a complete census of every person in the US. A sport with a participation rate of five percent has a confidence interval of plus or minus 0.31 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. This translates to plus or minus four percent of participants.

A weighting technique was used to balance the data to reflect the total US population ages six and above. The following variables were used: gender, age, income, household size, region, population density and panel join date. The total population figure used was 290,001,000 people ages six and older.

In this year’s report we have changed the definition of “inactivity.” In the past, we had included only those participants who report no activity in any of the 127 activities listed for the data year. This year we included 19 sports/fitness activities that require minimal to no physical exertion. We also added a “calorie burning” component.

If you have specific questions regarding this change in methodology, pleased get in touch with Sports Marketing Surveys USA at or (561) 427-0647.
The Physical Activity Council is made up of the following industry leading organizations:

  • GOLF: The National Golf Foundation (NGF) p: 561.744.6006 e:
  • SNOWSPORTS: The Snowsports Industries America (SIA) p: 703.556.9020 e:
  • OUTDOOR : The Outdoor Foundation (OF) p: 202.271-3511 e:
  • TENNIS: The Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) p: 866.686.3036 e:
  • CLUB/INSTITUTIONAL FITNESS: International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) p: 617.951.0155 e:
  • TEAM SPORTS / INDIVIDUAL SPORTS / GENERAL FITNESS / WATERSPORTS: The Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) p: 301.495.6321 e: