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NewsBites May 2011 Issue

Where Exercise Goes South

Y’all need to get up off the sofa and get some exercise. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that adults in the South are most likely to report zero leisure-time physical activity—not even gardening, walking or golfing. Not surprisingly, when responses to telephone surveys were mapped with health data, those counties with the lowest rates of non-work-related physical activity also had the highest prevalence of obesity and diabetes. Inactivity rates exceeded 29.2% in more than 70% of the counties in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Pockets of Pennsylvania, North Dakota and South Dakota also had high levels of inactivity. The states where people are most active in their free time were clustered on the West Coast and the Northeast, along with Colorado and Minnesota—places also with the lowest prevalence of obesity and diabetes. Nationally, about a quarter of all US adults said they spend no free time at all in physical activity.

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