The Laziest States in America

The Fat of the Land

In the earliest days of the U.S., the frontier was a tough place to live. Surely more than one pioneer, upon reaching the rushing and roiling Mississippi river, turned to his wagon-mates and said, with a wave of his hand, “yeah, this looks like a nice place to settle, let’s call it a day.” Whatever heartiness allowed people to settle successfully in the West may have been diluted by internal migration during the past two centuries, but to get an idea of how much different states vary in their residents’ fitness levels, MainStreet looked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2010. The report addresses a number of characteristics related to fitness – both behavioral indicators (how often you exercise) and environmental (how many parks and playgrounds there are in the area, etc.) – but boils down the principal ranking to the “proportion of adults in the state who achieve at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.” Here we look at the 10 states at the bottom of that list, so that the couch potatoes can go about addressing the problem. As the CDC says, “When state officials, health professionals, nonprofit organizations, urban planners, parks and recreation representatives, school staff, transportation officials, and community members work together, their efforts can increase the number of Americans who live healthier lives, by creating communities that support and encourage physical activity.” Photo Credit: puuikibeach