1948: American film star Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) reaches to touch her toes. (Photo via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

It’s already well known that, as a nation, we’re pretty out of shape, but you might not think things are this bad. According to a new survey, half of Americans can’t touch their toes without straining.

We conducted our own survey. We asked every listener, every caller, and every winner, “Can you touch your toes?” Keep in mind that we told them they needed to be standing up with their legs together and they weren’t allowed to bend their knees. The findings were surprising. Some of the answers were interesting: Kelly in Piscataway said, “No way!” Carlie in East Brunswick proudly said, “Not only can I touch my toes, I can do a back bend.” A back bend is when you bend your spine backward and catch yourself with your hands.

Silent film actress Gertrude Short does a backbend as part of her fitness routine, Hollywood, California, 1927. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Colleen from Bridgewater said, “There is no way in hell I could ever do that,” and Kara works in Manalapan and claims she can touch her toes, but “would rather not.” Out of the 47 listeners we spoke with only 25 said they could touch their toes. That’s about 50% and supports the survey of 2,000 Americans commissioned by the arthritis pain gel Voltaren. Their study also revealed that while 73% of Americans want to be more active, they’re not.  In fact, the average adult gets in just 3,800 steps a day, that’s 6,200 less than the recommendation of at least 10,000 for good health.

Their data shows that forty-two percent admit they “struggle” to fit activity into their daily lives.

However, we’re apparently trying to change our sedentary ways: Forty-three say they’ve started stretching routines, and 38% are doing at-home workouts. Thirty-one percent say they’ve started taking walks for their mental health.

Sixty-seven percent say they want to get moving again to improve their physical health; fifty-one percent want to boost their mental health, and forty-two want to be more active so they could be a good influence on their kids. In fact, fifty-four percent are making it a goal to exercise more with their family.

And most people aren’t moving as much as they should be, they know they should be: Eighty-one say exercising puts them in a better mood. I can attest to that, I run every day and I always feel great afterward. Maryann and I also learned that neither of us can stretch our foot behind our head, but we had fun trying!


It's the Most Popular Classic Movie In Central Jersey

  • The Godfather


    Godfather cast members

    (Original Caption) While his daughter’s wedding celebration proceeds outside, Don Corleone, played by Marlon Brando (right), discusses “family” business with his consigliori, Tom Hagen, played by Robert Duvall, in the The Godfather, an Albert S. Ruddy Production in Color by Technicolor. Undated. UPI photograph.

    The most popular classic movie in New Jersey is the Francis Ford Coppola directed film starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino: The Godfather.

  • Wizard, Wind and West Side


    Wizard of Oz cast

    American actors (left – right) Ray Bolger (1904 – 1987), Jack Haley (1898 – 1979), Judy Garland (1922 -1969), and Bert Lahr (1865 – 1967) run arm in arm through a field of poppies in a still from the film, ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ directed by Victor Fleming, 1939. (Photo by MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images)

    Musicals were hits throughout the country. Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz tied for the #1 spot, winning 7 states each. West Side Story also won in 3 states.

    The popularity of classic movies has strong regional ties. The Wizard of Oz was the most popular classic movie in the midwest, while The Godfather was the overall winner in the northeast. Gone With the Wind ranked as the #1 most popular movie in the South.

  • Mary, Men and An American

    Mary Poppins cast

    Mary Poppins, lobbycard, Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, Julie Andrews, 1964. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

    Connecticut prefers An American in Paris, 12 Angry Men won out in New Hampshire, Mary Poppins leads in Utah, and Californians love Sunset Boulevard.

    For the full results and breakdowns go HERE.