We often hear that Americans don’t do enough physical activity—but how many people are doing no leisure-time exercise at all? The percentage ranges by state from 17 percent (Colorado) to 33 percent (Mississippi), the CDC reported in January 2020.
The agency combined four years (2015-2018) of self-reported data from its annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance telephone survey to create state maps of overall inactivity and inactivity by race and ethnicity. Inactivity was defined as not doing any leisure-time physical activity, such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise, in the past month. (The survey did not look at physical activity done as part of work.)
Seven states—Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee—as well as the territories Guam and Puerto Rico had at least 30 percent of residents say they were totally inactive. (In Puerto Rico, the prevalence of inactivity was nearly 48 percent, the highest of any state or territory surveyed.) Inactivity contributes to one in 10 deaths in the U.S., the CDC says.
Also see Which States Have the Most Obesity?