North Carolinians Would Rather Lose 20 lbs of Weight Than $2K of Debt, Survey Finds


As we steadily make our way into 2022, the resolutions we made a few months earlier – to spend and eat less – begin to fade from our collective memory. Many of us will be left to ponder two frustratingly large figures: the one that shows up in our credit card bill, and the one that appears on the bathroom scale… But which would the average North Carolinian prefer to lose most? A bulging waistline or a hefty debt?

It’s a hypothetical question which, the world’s leading strength training resource and news outlet, sought to find the answer to when they questioned 5,337 (18+) respondents. They asked:

Would you rather 20 lbs of weight, or $2,000 of debt?

It turns out that North Carolinians are more concerned about their fitness debt than their financial debt. 54% concluded that losing weight is more important to them – this is broadly in line with the national average. Indeed, when it comes to fitness, many North Carolinians haven’t been doing nearly as much as the recommended amount per week…

Fitness debt*, or fitness deficit, can be defined as the difference between how much exercise you should be doing (according to CDC recommended guidelines of 150 minutes per week), and the amount of exercise you actually do on a regular basis. If you’re exercising your body for fewer hours than it needs to function optimally, you have a fitness debt, which can be measured as a percentage. Over time, a fitness deficit can add up and negatively impact one’s health, leading to things like weight gain and increased risk of certain health factors – much like how a poor credit score can affect finances.

Another study by revealed that that overall, North Carolinians have an average fitness debt of 18.7 hours per year (-14%), as compared to the CDC recommended amount of 130 hours per year (which is 150 minutes per week).

When these figures were broken down across the states, it was discovered that the two Dakotas were actually in an overall fitness credit to themselves! South Dakota had a fitness credit of 7.3%, working out for 7.3 hours more per year than the CDC recommended amount of 130 hours. North Dakota also had a fitness credit, but of 3.7%; as people here worked out for 3.7 hours more per year than the recommended guidelines. Comparatively, the state that had the overall highest fitness deficit was Wyoming at 35.6 hours (-35.6%).

View the following infographic illustrating how much fitness debt each state is in:

Interactive smart watch showing levels of ‘fitness debt’ across America (click on ’embed’ to host on your site)

Many of us are finding ourselves sitting down more throughout the day, especially since starting to work from home, or using the office/home hybrid system. It may sound innocuous to think about the number of hours per day you are sitting down, but sitting has even been referred to as the ‘new smoking’ based on the number of health issues it can trigger. Research shows that those who spend extended periods of time sitting down have higher rates of certain cancers, as well as heart problems, as compared to those who don’t. It can also lead to poor circulation and weight gain, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.