Survey Reveals High School Students' and College Students’ Favorite Sports, Exercise Habits, Diet: New CollegeXpress Infographic

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Almost 7,000 high school and college students shared how they exercise, play sports, manage their time, and more

Student Health and Fitness Infographic

Infographic covers high school students' and college students' sports, exercise, and diet habits

Many students have found ways to accommodate all of their responsibilities and interests, but they’ll be the first to admit—it’s difficult.

The survey, presented by CollegeXpress, a comprehensive college planning website, and O2 MAX Fitness, a youth fitness company, 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?

Click here for a sharable infographic with the results.

Nearly 7,000 young people responded, 90% of them current high school students and college students from across the country. Here are some major findings:


  • 53% of students play at least one sport, and 59% do so exclusively through their school.
  • 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% of students exercise three days a week or more.
  • Only 1% said they never exercise.
  • Of those who exercise, 65% incorporate cardio; 50% do strength training; 36% participate in team sports; 30% do outdoor activities; 21% practice yoga or meditate; and 12% do group classes.


  • 49% of all college respondents said their campus food is a good mix of healthy and unhealthy options.
  • Only 9% said they ate an unhealthy diet.
  • Many students said they eat cheap, unhealthy foods to save money, even though healthier options may be available.

Students work hard to fit everything in: “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.”

Many students have found ways to accommodate all of their responsibilities and interests, including regular exercise, but they’ll be the first to admit—it’s difficult. Prioritizing, maintaining a steady routine, and time management are essential skills. Required gym classes at school and physically active jobs and hobbies help them meet activity goals as well, freeing up more time for classwork and other activities.

To learn more, please contact Jessica Tomer, Editor-in-Chief of CollegeXpress, at jtomer(at)carnegiecomm(dot)com or Karen Jashinsky, Founder of O2 MAX Fitness, at karen(at)o2maxfitness(dot)com.

About CollegeXpress: Students from high school to grad school, their families, and guidance counselors use CollegeXpress to plan their education because it’s free, fun, and, most importantly, helpful. It has everything they need for the college journey: a college search, a scholarship search, a graduate program search, 800+ unique college lists, articles and blogs, and much more.

About O2 MAX Fitness: O2 MAX Fitness, founded by personal trainer and youth fitness expert Karen Jashinsky, helps busy students with big ambitions integrate personalized fitness into their busy lifestyles. Through a unique, proprietary method, O2 MAX Fitness is able to customize lifestyle fitness and nutrition plans that match the goals, schedules, and personalities of each student. From high school to prom to college and beyond, O2’s mission is to help students achieve their life’s goals with confidence and ease by providing them with fitness programs and products that are affordable and adaptable.

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Jessica Tomer
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