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Olympics for the rest of us: How Americans stack up

With the Olympic Games in full swing, American athletes have taken the lead, earning 11 gold medals so far. But for most Americans, watching the games will be the most athletic activity they participate in on a given day.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 18 percent of Americans age 15 years and older participated in a sport or exercise activity on any given day from 2011 to 2015.

Fans cheer during a match of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Mineirao Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Getty Images
Fans cheer during a match of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Mineirao Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

People who did break a sweat spent an average of 87 minutes doing so.

So what exactly were these typical American athletes doing? A full 30.4 percent of this group was racking up their steps by walking, followed by weightlifting and running.

Here are the top 25 activities that Americans who exercise on a given day participated in:


Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through the year 2032.