Lack of exercise is an important public health issue in the United States due to its link to obesity and other health risk factors. Despite several policy interventions, many Americans do not exercise sufficiently. Given recent findings that financial literacy helps to improve people’s rational decision-making ability and encourages people to exercise in Japan, we conduct a similar study for the United States, which has also been experiencing lack of exercise but has a different cultural setting. Culture has important influences on decision making and exercise behavior. This study investigates whether financial literacy is associated with exercise behavior in the United States. We used Osaka University’s 2010 Preference Parameters Study dataset and performed a probit regression analysis to test our hypothesis that financially literate people are likely to exercise more. In support of our hypothesis, we find that Americans with better financial literacy are more likely to exercise at least once a week. Additionally, financial education has a similar association with exercise behavior. Our results suggest that authorities could consider using financial literacy as an alternative policy intervention to promote regular exercise among the American population.
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