College Exercise Rates Drop as Semester Proceeds

 Green indicates usage levels, blue is a trendline.

As the semester grinds on, the gyms (Murr/QRAC/MAC/Hemenway) are seeing their traditional decrease in usage by undergraduates.
By itself, this doesn't necessarily mean that overall exercise is trending downward, as this data doesn't include information from house gyms, those who exercise outdoors, or those who exercise in other local gyms.
But if exercise trends were increasing or holding steady, this would require that exercise in the houses, other gyms, and outdoors increase as gym usage decreases, and this doesn't *seem* to be the case. As a result, we think gym usage rates are a fairly good proxy for exercise levels in the undergraduate population, and are, at minimum, directionally correct.
As we head into colder weather, other trends to think about: students who usually exercise outdoors will head inside, theoretically driving usage up. BUT as the weather gets colder, students might be less likely to go outside to travel to the gym, and either exercise in their houses or not at all. Exams and end-of-semester obligations might also hinder consistent gym usage, whether in-house or not. 
Are you an undergrad who wants to avoid this trend? Exercise can be easier with others in a group exercise class (we have about 100 a week); you don't have to have attended one before to try one out now--our instructors would love to have you! Have you found it difficult to get a routine going that you can sustain? Come talk to our trainers for a fitness assessment or to learn how to use the fitness equipment (it's free). 
Harvard Recreation is here for you. 

More from Harvard Recreation: