Coloradans Really Are More Active Than Everybody Else
A new report ranks America’s movement.
How fit is your county compared to the rest of the U.S.? Thanks to a new annual report from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, you can see if your area makes the top ten for the most active (or least) counties in the country.
As this TIME piece about the report points out, many Americans still aren’t getting adequate exercise despite mounting evidence of the benefits for our physical and mental health. For instance, in 2015, 22 percent of American adults 20 years and older “reported no physical activity during leisure time,” according to TIME.
Counties in Colorado took nearly all of the top spots, with Summit County ranking first (only 8.1 percent of residents qualify as inactive) and Boulder County following with 8.7 percent inactive. The least active county in the U.S. was Cleburne County, Arkansas, with 41.4 percent of people meeting the criteria for ‘inactive’ , followed closely by Cocke County, Tennessee, with 41.3 percent.
As lead researcher Keith Gennuso told TIME, how much people exercise on a county-to-county basis may have more to do with socioeconomic factors like “unemployment, post-secondary education and poverty” than motivation, adding that these factors are also “statistically tied to measures like rates of smoking and insufficient sleep.”
For instance, compare Summit County, CO to Cleburne County, AR. Summit County has an inactivity rate of just 8 percent (and a median income of almost $70,000,) whereas Cleburne County (with a median income of around $43,000) has a 41 percent inactive rate. That difference, as the study underscores, can’t solely (or fairly) be attributed to how much people want to exercise, but it could be influenced by “factors that make activities like running, walking or playing sports a luxury that is unavailable.”
Though the findings remind us that many tenets of well-being — like regular exercise — aren’t easily attainable for everyone, it doesn’t take a lot of exercise to make a difference. Even short periods of movement per day can help improve your mental and physical health.
Read more about the report on TIME.