GHENT, W.Va. (WVNS) — In the majority of states across the U.S., more than 1 in 5 adults are considered “inactive,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC released new state maps showing the levels of adult physical inactivity across the United States. For these maps, physical inactivity is defined as not participating in any physical activity outside of work for over a month.
Individuals were asked to self-report their activity level during telephone interview surveys conducted by the CDC and state health departments.
State and territory estimates of physical inactivity range from 17.7 percent of people in Colorado to 49.4 percent in Puerto Rico. In Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico, 30 percent or more of adults were physically inactive. By region, the South had the highest rates of physical inactivity with 27.5 percent, followed by the Midwest with 25.2 percent.
“Getting enough physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths. Too many people are missing out on the health benefits of physical activity such as improved sleep, reduced blood pressure and anxiety, lowered risk for heart disease, several cancers, and dementia,” says Ruth Petersen, MD, Director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.
The CDC map shows the proportion of Americans that are inactive for a month or more at a time. However, the agency recommends healthy adults should be active not just once a month, but several times a week. It suggests 150 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic activity weekly, plus some muscle-strengthening work too.
The CDC is working with communities and partners across the country as part of the Active People, Healthy Nation initiative to figure out what can be done in order to make it more convenient for people to be active. The overall goal of the initiative is to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027 through the help of community leaders who can inspire more active communities. Accomplishing this will make overall quality of life better and improve healthcare costs across the nation, organizers say.
The new maps are based on combined 2017-2020 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS is an ongoing state-based telephone survey system used by the CDC and other health departments.
You can learn more about physical activity on the CDC’s website here.
Maps and data tables about the levels of physical inactivity can be found here.