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Duration of vigorous activity 20+ minutes: Minutes


VIG20DMIN2 is a 3-digit-numeric variable.

000: Not in Universe
997: Unknown-refused
998: Unknown-not ascertained
999: Unknown-don't know


VIG20DMIN2 is a recoded variable created by the staff at the National Center for Health Statistics that draws upon the information in VIG20DNO2 and VIG20DTP2 and reports the duration of vigorous leisure-time physical activities (for at least 20 minutes) in terms of a standardized time unit, minutes. Thus, a respondent who engaged in vigorous exercise for an hour and half would have a VIG20DMIN2 value of 90 (to represent 90 minutes).

Vigorous activities are described in the survey questionnaire as activities that "cause heavy sweating or large increases in breathing or heart rate." The Field Representative's Manuals for 1997 forward provide examples of vigorous leisure-time physical activities, although these examples were not routinely shared with respondents. These examples include fast walking, fast bicycling, jogging, strenuous swimming or sports play, vigorous aerobic dance, and strenuous gardening.


Due to an error in the wording of the survey question, VIG20DMIN2 is only available for quarters 1 and 2 of 1997. At that time respondents were asked to report how long they engaged in physical activities lasting a minimum of 20 minutes. This mistake was corrected beginning in quarter 3 of 1997, when the minimum duration of physical activity was lowered to 10 minutes.

To allow analysis of vigorous leisure-time physical activity across all quarters of 1997, the National Center for Health Statistics created "transitional" variables for 1997 only, covering respondents who exercised vigorously for at least 20 minutes.


See VIG20FNO2 for a list and discussion of these transitional variables on vigorous physical activity for at least 20 minutes. which are available for 1997 only.

Researchers who wish to analyze data from multiple years on adults' leisure-time vigorous physical activity should restrict their data from 1997 to quarters 3 and 4 and use variables beginning with "VIG10."


See VIG10FNO for an overview of the variables relating to adults' leisure-time physical activity for at least 10 minutes for the third quarter of 1997 forward.


  • 1997: Sample adults age 18+ in quarters 1 and 2 who participate in vigorous activities for at least 20 minutes.


  • 1997