In a comparison of sports participation, it seems that what everybody has suspected is true: California walks the talk and really has one of the more fit populaces in the country. But, in head-scratching ties, come Georgia (Olympic leftovers?) and New Jersey (running after people who make fun of the state?). In the study by the National Sporting Goods Association, Georgia had the highest index in three of the seven fitness activities polled (exercise walking, weightlifting, and working out at a club); New Jersey ranked No. 1 in aerobic exercising, calisthenics and running/jogging. California and Illinois tied for first in the remaining activity, exercising with equipment. Only states with 7 million or more residents were included in NSGA's Sports Participation Index. While California led just one activity, it placed second in five of the remaining six, with only a No. 6 ranking in calisthenics marring the state's showing. Illinois' best activities were exercising with equipment and working out at a club, two closely related activities. Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina were below the national average in virtually every activity.
SNEWS View: One quick glance at these short facts seems to make it pretty clear that weather has a huge influence on fitness and sports participation. Well, OK, in most cases, at least, with New Jersey being a big exception. Anybody marketing fitness, or anything related, needs to keep that in mind since every state will need a different tack when it comes to marketing.