According to a survey from CollegeXpress, a college planning website, and O2 MAX Fitness, a youth fitness company, 53 percent of high school and college students play at least one sport, and 59 percent do so exclusively through their school.

The survey was developed to better understand how high school and college students incorporate healthy habits into their busy lives, specifically: What do students do to stay healthy? How often do they exercise? What sports do they play? What do they eat? And how does social media factor into their fitness routines?

Nearly 7,000 young people responded, 90 percent of them current high school students and college students from across the country. Among the other findings:

  • The top three most popular sports are soccer, outdoor track, and basketball.
  • Students who do not play sports are often more involved in the arts, marching band, and schoolwork. Others found the cost prohibitive.


  • Almost 70 percent of students exercise three days a week or more.
  • Only 1 percent said they never exercise.
  • Of those who exercise, 65 percent incorporate cardio; 50 percent do strength training; 36 percent participate in team sports; 30 percent do outdoor activities; 21 percent practice yoga or meditate; and 12 percent do group classes.


  • 49 percent of all college respondents said their campus food is a good mix of healthy and unhealthy options.
  • Only 9 percent said they ate an unhealthy diet.

“Today’s students are incredibly motivated, balancing jam-packed school schedules with many and varied extracurricular activities,” says Jessica Tomer, editor-in-chief of CollegeXpress. “Yet, they still manage to exercise regularly and eat right, and they strictly budget their time to fit everything in. This corresponds with widespread reports that students feel more pressure to succeed and are more stressed than ever before. It’s a challenge, but high school and college students are rising to the occasion.”

“Students are often an overlooked market for the fitness and nutrition industry, but this survey confirms that both high school and college students are more interested than ever in their overall fitness,” says Karen Jashinsky, founder and CEO of O2 MAX Fitness. “Students lead very busy lives, but by incorporating fitness into their daily routines as well as watching what they eat, they will find that they are more focused and less stressed out. The earlier that students take their health into consideration, the easier it will be to incorporate fitness and nutrition into adulthood.”