The Elliptical For The Rich, Tai Chi For The Poor

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Every year, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Associationreleases its state of sports participation in America study. The 64-page document is filled with interesting tidbits that will make you smarter at the office water cooler. Here are my top 10 highlights:

Of all the fitness machines, the elliptical motion trainer has the highest percentage of participants whose annual household income exceeds $100,000 a year. Forty percent of those who use the elliptical make over $100,000.

· Tai Chi (18%) and Roller Hockey (25%) are the activities that have the highest amount of participants that make less than $25,000 a year.

· Lacrosse is the team sport played by the rich. Nearly half of all people that play lacrosse (48 percent) make $100,000 or more. The richest individual sport is scuba diving, with 50 percent of its participants making $100,000 or more.

· Of the 3 million cheerleaders in this country, 400,000 are male. Of the 3 million wrestlers in this country, 500,000 are female.

· The most obsolete exercise machine in the country just might be the cross country ski machine. Its use is down 52.7 percent over the last nine years.

· Texas (781,000) and California (771,465) have more than double the participants playing high school sports than the No. 3 state, New York (380,870).

· Basketball related equipment sales were $342 million in 2009, which is its worst year of sales in at least the last nine years.

· Of the indoor sports and games (billiards, bowling and darts), bowling has the highest percentage of wealthy participants. Thirty percent of bowlers in the United States make $100,000 or more.

· Haven’t seen anyone rollerblading in a while? The number of people participating in inline wheel sports is down 62.2 percent in the past nine years.

· Water sports have not fared well over the last nine years. Over this time period, jet skiing (down 18.5 percent), wakeboarding (down 21.5 percent), scuba diving (down 36.7 percent) and water skiing (down 44.5 percent) have seen massive declines.

Questions? Comments?