Facts about Physical Activity
Some Americans are getting enough, but too many are not
- About 1 in 5 (21%) adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
- Less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Physical activity can improve health. People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Physical activity can also help with weight control, and may improve academic achievement in students. There’s more.
- Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
Rates of activity and inactivity vary across states and regions
- Americans living in the South are less likely to be physically active than Americans living in the West, Northeast and Midwest regions of the country.
- To see state rates for physical activity and inactivity, please visit Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity: Data, Trends and Maps.
Some groups are more physically active than others
- More non-Hispanic white adults (23%) meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity than non-Hispanic black adults (18%) and Hispanic adults (16%).
- Men (54%) are more likely than women (46%) to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity.
- Younger adults are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than older adults.
Physical activity and socioeconomic status
- Adults with more education are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than adults with less education.
- Adults whose family income is above the poverty level are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than adults whose family income is at or near the poverty level.
2012 Age-Adjusted Estimates of the Percentage of Adults Who Are Physically Inactive
To find out about 2012 county physical inactivity levels-visit the Diabetes Interactive Atlas. Select the ”Indicator tab” and “Leisure-time Physical Inactivity”.
- Page last reviewed: September 12, 2018
- Page last updated: September 12, 2018
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