If general health and fitness knowledge was a subject, Americans and Europeans wouldn’t pass the class – participants from these nations scored an average of 42% and 39% respectively, reveals Nautilus, Inc.’s second annual Fitness IQ survey. “Knowledge is the first step in encouraging us to make smart decisions about what we eat and to get us moving.”

How does your health and fitness knowledge compare? Take their quiz and find out (take the quiz before reading on, and don’t cheat by looking at the results below!).


The survey revealed that several common misconceptions persist, for example:

  • More than half of respondents (55% of Americans, 61% of Europeans) do not know the recommended daily calorie intake for adults (2 000 calories);
  • Around half (48% of Americans, 53% of Europeans) think that fat can turn into muscle due to weight training;
  • 59% of Europeans do not understand the wide spectrum of benefits that strength training can offer (improving cardio fitness, burning calories and fat, and aiding in weight loss);
  • Accurately defining body weight exercise is a problem for 64% of Europeans and 77% of Americans (strength training moves that do not require free weights, but rather use an individual’s own weight to provide resistance);
  • As is identifying a functional fitness exercise (moves that train your muscles for daily use and often mimic common movements): 71% of Europeans failed this question. American participants, however, are almost twice as knowledgeable as the Europeans, with 59% getting this question right.

The survey, however, also revealed some good news about respondents’ health and fitness knowledge, for example:

  • 49% of Europeans know that muscle starts to atrophy or waste away when an individual stops working out;
  • The vast majority (70% of Americans, 78% of Europeans) know that walking and running a mile don’t burn the same number of calories;

The survey questioned 2 600 men and women, aged 18 and older in May 2016, from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.

Of the European respondents, Germans scored the highest (average of 40%) and the French scored the lowest (average of 37%).