CDC data reveals states and territories with least physical activity



  • A CDC survey determined the physical inactivity of US adults by state/territory
  • Data showed ‘1 in 5 adults are inactive in all but four states’
  • Some discrepancies in physical activity levels by race and ethnicity were also observed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed the least physically active US states and territories. According to the agency, those who made it onto the list recorded a prevalence of physical inactivity of more than 30%.

The CDC has updated its card of physical inactivity in the United States, and it showed that about 25% of American adults are not physically active enough to protect their health, the agency Noted in a press release.

For the state survey, which was conducted by telephone, respondents were asked: “In the past month, outside of your usual work, have you participated in physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening or walking for exercise?

Those who answered “no” were considered physically inactive.

Puerto Rico had the highest rate of physical inactivity at 49.4%. West Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi also had physical inactivity prevalence rates above 30%.

Other states also had rather high levels of physical inactivity, with 24 states and the District of Columbia having physical inactivity prevalence rates ranging from 20% to less than 25%. Meanwhile, Guam, with 14 states, had a prevalence of 25% to less than 30%.

In contrast, Colorado emerged as the most active state, with the lowest physical inactivity prevalence rate of 17.4%. Three other states – Utah, Washington and Vermont – also had physical inactivity rates ranging from 17.7% to less than 20%.

Overall, the data showed “1 in 5 adults are inactive in all but four states,” the CDC noted. Among the regions, the South had the highest prevalence of physical inactivity at 27.5%.

The data also revealed “notable” differences in physical activity levels by race and ethnicity, with Hispanic adults, followed by non-Hispanic black adults, having the highest levels of physical inactivity outside of the job. According to the agency, it is possible that the “lack of access to safe and convenient places” where they can be physically active plays a role in these differences.

“Sufficient physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths,” said Ruth Petersen, MD, director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, in the press release. “Too many people are missing out on the health benefits of physical activity, such as improved sleep, reduced blood pressure and anxiety, reduced risk of heart disease, several cancers and dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease).”

Physical Activity Guidelines

There are different physical activities guidelines for people of different ages. For example, preschoolers are encouraged to be physically active “all day long,” while children and teens aged six to 17 should get 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

As for adults, it is recommended that they “move more and sit less” and have at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. This can take the form of taking a walk, choosing the stairs over the elevator, or even using the bike instead of the car for an errand.

“Being physically active is one of the most important actions people of all ages can take to improve their health,” the guidelines note. “(R)research shows that almost everyone benefits: men and women of all races and ethnicities, from young children to the elderly, pregnant or postpartum women (first year after giving birth), people living with a chronic illness or disability, and people who want to reduce their risk of chronic disease.”

Exercise bikes will find their place in any corner of your room Photo: Pexels


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