Are Kansans More Active Today Than They Were In 1997? / by Anne Kreamer

The United Health Foundation has created one of the most densely packed and fascinating interactive maps of the United States showing on a color-coded state-by-state level how the activity level of Americans has decreased since 1997.  A sedentary lifestyle is one where adults report doing no physical activity or exercise (such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening or walking) other than their regular job in the last 30 days.  While it's hard to imagine doing no exercise, check out the map and prepare yourself to be stunned.  To dig deep into the data check out the map below. The ranks are based on the preceding year’s data from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).  The 2012 edition is the first edition to include sedentary lifestyle in the Rankings.

Regular physical activity is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and premature death. [1]-[2] Sedentary lifestyle is responsible for an estimated $24 billion in direct medical spending. [3] Increasing physical activity, especially from a complete absence, can not only prevent numerous chronic diseases; it can also help to manage them. [4] It is estimated that physical inactivity is responsible for almost 200,000 or 1 in 10 deaths each year. [5] Physical inactivity is associated with many social and environmental factors as well including low educational attainment, socioeconomic status, violent crime, and poverty to name a few. [6] Even moderate increases in physical activity can greatly reduce risk for adverse health outcomes. For resources and tips on how to add physical activity to your life, visit the cdc