Perspective from Dennis Bruemmer, MD
Perspective from Sajani Shah, MD
January 16, 2020
3 min read

CDC: More than 15% of US adults physically inactive

Perspective from Dennis Bruemmer, MD
Perspective from Sajani Shah, MD
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More than 15% of adults in every U.S. state and territory are physically inactive, according to new CDC data.

“Too many adults are inactive, and they may not know how much it affects their health,” Ruth Petersen, MD, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, said in a press release. “Being physically active helps you sleep better, feel better and reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.”

The CDC released state maps showing the prevalence of physical inactivity in the U.S. based on 2015-2018 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Their findings included the following:

  • By state, Colorado had the lowest prevalence of physical inactivity at 17.3%; Puerto Rico had the highest at 47.7%.
  • By U.S. region, the South had the highest prevalence of physical inactivity at 28%; the West had the lowest prevalence at 20.5%.
  • By race, Hispanics had the highest prevalence of self-reported physical inactivity at 31.7%, followed by non-Hispanic blacks at 30.3% and non-Hispanic whites at 23.4%.
Source: CDC

Inactive lifestyles contribute to one in 10 premature deaths in the U.S. and $117 billion in annual health care costs, according to the CDC. The agency pointed to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, such as briskly walking, bike riding or taking the dog for a walk. That time can be broken into smaller amounts, such as 25 minutes each day or 30 minutes five times a week.

“The key is to move more and sit less,” the agency said.

Disclosure: Petersen reports no relevant financial disclosures.