Top 5 least fit statesNews added by Benefits Pro on March 24, 2014
By Kathryn Mayer
Not all Americans take their exercise seriously. In fact, the national average for regular exercise decreased slightly to 51.6 percent in 2013 from 52.7 percent in 2012, according to a Gallup report.
Frequent exercise declined at least marginally in 31 states in 2013 compared with 2012, while it increased in 19 states.
Gallup noted the states most and least likely to have adults who exercise frequently — defined as exercising three or more days a week for at least 30 minutes.
We've already covered the top 5 fittest states in the nation. Now, here are the five states that have the least active residents in the nation.
5. Rhode Island
Little state, little exercise. Fewer than half of Rhode Island residents, 48.2 percent, say they get the recommended amount of exercise weekly.
Gallup researchers said that with obesity rates rising nationwide, it’s important for state leaders to address the decrease in exercise in 2013.
“There are tangible policies that cities and states can adopt to create an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice — environments where fruits and vegetables are abundant and easy to access and people can easily exercise and move naturally in their communities,” said Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and founder, Blue Zones.
4. New Jersey
Just 47.7 percent of New Jersey residents exercise regularly. But that shouldn’t be a big surprise: The Garden State has ranked in the bottom 10 when it comes to exercise every year since 2008.
In the Yellowhammer State, 47.5 percent of its residents reported exercising frequently.
Gallup reports that “the incidence of frequent exercise in a state is a function of many factors, including the age of the population, the availability of outdoor activities, and state-specific cultural factors that help determine the most popular recreational or leisure time activities.”
Alabama has also ranked in the bottom 10 every year since 2008.
2. West Virginia
In 2013, 47.1 percent of its residents reported exercising frequently.
Gallup says less exercise throughout the nation may be attributed to colder weather in the past year.
"According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, 2013 brought the coldest and wettest weather on record since 2009," the Gallup report said. "This contrasts with 2012, which was the warmest year on record and considerably drier than 2013 was. These changes in weather may be related to Americans' exercising less frequently in 2013 than in 2012."
Delaware is the nation’s worst state for exercise, with only 46.5 percent of its residents likely to exercise for 30 or more minutes three days a week or more.
That's a nearly 20 percent difference from the nation's top state for exercising: 65.3 percent of Vermont's residents reported frequent exercise.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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