The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released updated maps representing America's high level of inactivity. According to the data, more than 1 in 5 adults are said to be inactive in all but four states: Washington, Utah, Colorado and Vermont. (See state maps here)
Physical inactivity for adults was defined as not participating in any physical activities outside of work, like running, walking for exercise or gardening, over the past month.
By region, the South had the highest prevalence of physical inactivity (27.5%), followed by the Midwest (25.2%), Northeast (24.7%), and the West (21.0%).
“Getting enough physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths,” said Dr. Ruth Petersen, who heads 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 new maps are based on combined 2017-2020 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing state-based telephone interview survey conducted by CDC and state health departments.
This is the first time that CDC has created state maps of physical inactivity including non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native and non-Hispanic Asian adults.
The maps point to notable differences in physical inactivity levels by race and ethnicity.
Overall, Hispanic adults (32.1%) have the highest prevalence of physical inactivity outside of work, followed by non-Hispanic blacks (30.0%), non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Natives (29.1%), non-Hispanic whites (23.0%), and non-Hispanic Asian adults (20.1%).
The CDC's Active People, Healthy NationSM initiative is working with communities and partners across the country, to make it easier, safer, and more convenient for people to be active where they live, learn, work and play.
The overall goal of the initiative is to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027 to improve overall health and quality of life and to reduce healthcare costs.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
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