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Quarter Of US Adults Not Active Enough To Protect Their Health: Survey

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More than 1 in 5 adults is inactive in all but four states in the United States, according to new state maps of adult physical inactivity prevalence released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The map, which points to high levels of inactivity in the country, says 25 percent of U.S. adults are not active enough to protect their health.

The data come from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based survey conducted by CDC and state health departments.

This survey asked respondents if they engaged in any physical activities other than their regular job such as running, walking for exercise, or gardening in the past month. People who said "no" were classified as inactive.

Adults in Puerto Rico, where almost half of those who were surveyed were found to be inactive, are at the worst level of physical inactivity.

People in Colorado fared better in this parameter, where only 17.7 percent of adults said they are inactive.

Four states - Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Vermont - had a physical inactivity prevalence of less than 20 percent, while seven states - West Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi, and the territory of Puerto Rico - had a physical inactivity prevalence of 30 percent or more.

"Getting enough physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths," according to Dr.Ruth Petersen, Director of 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," he said.

CDC said it is working with communities and partners across the country as part of the Active People, Healthy Nation initiative, 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 second edition of Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. This can be broken into smaller amounts such as 22 minutes every day or 30 minutes/five times a week. Individuals and families are encouraged to build physical activity into their day by going for a brisk walk or a hike, walking the dog, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, parking further away in the parking lot and walking the rest of the way, walking or cycling to run errands, and getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way. The key is to move more and sit less.

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