25% of US adults inactive, CDC map shows

About 25 percent of adults in the U.S. are not active enough to protect their health, according to the CDC's physical inactivity maps updated Jan. 20. 

Physical inactivity for the maps is defined as not participating in any physical activities outside of work over the last month, such as running, walking for exercise or gardening, the CDC said. 

Four findings: 

1. By region, the South had the highest prevalence of physical inactivity at 27.5 percent, followed by the Midwest (25.2 percent), Northeast (24.7 percent) and West (21 percent). 

2. Estimates of physical inactivity range from nearly 18 percent of people in Colorado to 49.4 percent in Puerto Rico. 

3. Seven states — West Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi — and Puerto Rico had a physical inactivity prevalence of at least 30 percent. 

4. By race/ethnicity, Asian adults had the lowest prevalence of physical inactivity at 20 percent, followed by white adults (23 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native adults (29 percent), Black adults (30 percent) and Hispanic adults (32 percent). 

"Getting enough 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. "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 (including Alzheimer's disease)." 

The maps are based on combined 2017-2020 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing state-based telephone survey conducted by the CDC and state health departments. The survey question the maps are based on asked, "During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening or walking for exercise?"

To view the maps, click here.

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