According to a study of over 2,500 people conducted by NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health, the top participation sports for adults were the following:

• Golf
• Basketball
• Baseball or softball
• Soccer
• Running or track
• Football
• Tennis
• Swimming
• Biking
• Volleyball

Participation, however, varies by gender and generation.

Men ages 18‐29 Women ages 18‐29
48% 23%
1t Basketball 22 1 Baseball/softball 16
1t Soccer 22 2 Volleyball 13
3 Football 13 3 Running/track 12
4 Baseball/softball 6 4 Tennis 11
5 Running/track 5 5 Basketball 9
Men ages 30‐49 Women ages 30‐49
38% 15%
1 Basketball 14 1 Running/track 19
2t Soccer 10 2 Volleyball 11
2t Golf 10 3 Baseball/softball 9
2t Baseball/softball 10 4 Soccer 8
5 Running/track 9 5 Biking 6
Men ages 50‐64 Women ages 50‐64
24% 16%
1 Golf 25 1t Golf 9
2 Baseball/softball 9 1t Walking 9
3 Basketball 8 3t Biking 8
4 Running/track 7 3t Swimming 8
5 Biking 6 5t Tennis 7
5t Dance 7
Men ages 65+ Women ages 65+
32% 9%
1 Golf 44 1 Walking 18
2 Basketball 6 2 Swimming 14
3 Baseball/softball 6 3 Golf 13
4t Tennis 4 4 Tennis 11
4t Walking 4 5 Bowling 10
4t Fishing 4

Participation and interest in sports are also two different things.  A person may have an interest in an activity but can not do it because they do not have the time, money, or health. According to the Physical Activity Council in a study of over 20,000 people: