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CDC: Only One in Five Adults Meet Overall Physical Activity Guidelines

Adherence rates are highest in West and Northeast (May 2)

About 20% of U.S. adults are meeting both the aerobic and muscle-strengthening components of the federal government’s physical activity recommendations, according to new findings published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The data are based on self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual phone survey of adults aged 18 years and older conducted by state health departments.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as walking, or 1 hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging, or a combination of both. The guidelines also recommend that adults do muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups, sit-ups, or activities using resistance bands or weights. These activities should involve all major muscle groups and be done on 2 or more days per week.

The report notes that, nationwide, nearly 50% of adults are getting the recommended amounts of aerobic activity and about 30% are engaging in the recommended muscle-strengthening activity.

The report also finds differences among states and the District of Columbia. The rates of adults meeting the overall guidelines ranged from 13% in Tennessee and West Virginia to 27% in Colorado. The West (24%) and the Northeast (21%) had the highest proportion of adults who met the guidelines. Women, Hispanics, older adults, and obese adults were less likely to meet the guidelines.

Source: CDC; May 2, 2013.

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