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Too many Americans are physically inactive, CDC says

Sedentary habits are negatively affecting consumers’ health

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It’s a new year, and plenty of consumers have made it their goal to get more fit and in shape during the course of 2020. But a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that goal may be hard to achieve. 

The agency says that inactivity continues to be a major concern for consumers, as not enough people are taking time each month to exercise or participate in leisure-time physical activities. Across every state and territory, at least 15 percent of U.S. adults were physically inactive on a month-to-month basis, with that number climbing to nearly 50 percent in the most egregious cases. 

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

Physical inactivity is widespread

The CDC compiled new state maps related to physical activity by using survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. 

After analyzing the information it gathered, the agency determined that seven states and two territories had physical inactivity levels of over 30 percent or more for all adults. Those places included Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, and Guam. 

By region, the South has the highest rates of physical inactivity (28 percent). That was followed by the Northeast (25.6 percent), Midwest (25.0 percent), and the West (20.5 percent). 

Getting consumers more active

Becoming more active isn’t something that anyone can do overnight. It generally takes a sustained commitment to improve a person’s health and break sedentary habits that they may have held onto for years.

With that in mind, the CDC is continuing to push its Active People, Healthy Nation initiative. Agency officials hope to achieve their goal of making 27 million more U.S. consumers more physically active by the year 2027. The plan includes guidelines for those looking to improve their health through activity, including getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. 

More information about the plan can be found on the CDC’s website here.

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