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Hispanic Health News

CDC Releases County Level Estimates for Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity

CDC has released new county/county equivalent-level estimates of leisure-time physical inactivity. This data compliments the previously released county level data on both obesity and diagnosed diabetes. The county-level estimates are posted at: http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/DDT_STRS2/NationalDiabetesPrevalenceEstimates.aspx?mode=PHY

Estimates of leisure-time physical inactivity, or lack of physical activity or exercise, were derived using data from the census and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.  The data is available for all 3,141 counties or county equivalents, such as boroughs and parishes, in the United States. These estimates, ranging from 10% to 43% in 2008, reflect the percent of adults in each county who report no physical activity or exercise other than at their regular jobs.  Evidence from scientific studies shows that 150 minutes of being moderately physical activity each week, such as walking for exercise, gardening, golfing or running, will reduce the likelihood of acquiring type 2 diabetes and some other chronic diseases. However, a 2008 CDC survey found that 25.4 percent of U.S. adults did not spend any of their free time being physically active.

Findings from the county level estimates of leisure-time physical inactivity include:

·      States where residents are the least likely to be physically active during leisure time are Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. In those states, physical inactivity rates are 29.2 percent or higher for more than 70 percent of the counties.

·      States where residents are the most likely to be physically active during leisure time are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In those states, physical inactivity rates are 23.2% or lower for more than 70 percent of the counties.

The data can be used by public health professionals, community leaders and policy makers to raise awareness and focus interventions among people in communities at risk. These data can also be helpful in grant applications, the planning of chronic disease prevention initiatives, and community design efforts that increase access and availability of safe places for residents to exercise.  CDC encourages you to share this new resource widely with your partners and colleagues.

For more information on type 2 diabetes and preventing the disease, please visit www.cdc.gov/diabetes.