Percentage of adults who self-report doing no physical activity or exercise other than their regular job in the last 30 days.



Physical Inactivity

United States Physical Inactivity (1997-2015) see more
  • Percentage of adults who indicated that they have not participated in any physical activities outside of work during the past month.
  • Percentage of adults who self-report doing no physical activity or exercise other than their regular job in the last 30 days.
Ranking Value State
1 16.4 Colorado
2 16.5 Oregon
3 16.8 Utah
4 18.1 Washington
5 18.7 Idaho
6 19 Vermont
7 19.2 Alaska
8 19.3 New Hampshire
9 19.6 Hawaii
9 19.6 Montana
11 19.7 Maine
12 20.1 Massachusetts
13 20.2 Minnesota
14 20.6 Connecticut
15 21.2 Arizona
15 21.2 South Dakota
15 21.2 Wisconsin
18 21.3 Nebraska
18 21.3 North Dakota
20 21.4 Maryland
21 21.7 California
22 22.1 Wyoming
23 22.5 Nevada
23 22.5 Rhode Island
25 22.6 Iowa
26 23.2 North Carolina
27 23.3 New Jersey
27 23.3 New Mexico
27 23.3 Pennsylvania
30 23.5 Virginia
31 23.6 Georgia
32 23.7 Florida
33 23.8 Kansas
34 23.9 Illinois
35 24.9 Delaware
36 25 Missouri
36 25 Ohio
38 25.3 South Carolina
39 25.5 Michigan
40 25.9 New York
41 26.1 Indiana
42 26.8 Tennessee
43 27.6 Alabama
43 27.6 Texas
45 28.2 Kentucky
46 28.3 Oklahoma
47 28.7 West Virginia
48 29.5 Louisiana
49 30.7 Arkansas
50 31.6 Mississippi


Explore the Data

Disparities Related Measures Thematic Map
Physical Inactivity
Core Measure Impact
Physical Inactivity
Related Measures
Physical Inactivity
Thematic Map
Physical Inactivity


Physical Inactivity is the percentage of adults who report doing no physical activity or exercise other than their regular job in the last 30 days. The 2015 ranks are based on self-report data from CDC’s 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). In the 2012 Edition, physical inactivity was referred to as sedentary lifestyle. Because of the 2011 change in BRFSS methodology, physical inactivity prevalence from the 2012 Edition onward cannot be directly compared to estimates from previous years (see Methodology).

The prevalence of physical inactivity ranges from a high of 31.6% of adults in Mississippi to 16.4% of adults in Colorado. The national median of adults who do not engage in physical activity outside of their regular job is 22.6%, a slight decrease from 23.5% of adults in the 2014 Edition. For physical inactivity prevalence by state and age, gender, race/ethnicity, urbanicity, income, or education level, see Health Disparities within States.

Public Health Impact

Regular physical activity is a vital element of a healthy lifestyle. The US Department of Health and Human Services offers the following physical activity guidelines for adults:[1]

  • Avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any physical activity gain health benefits.
  • Do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise.  Or do an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Do aerobic activity in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and spread activity throughout the week.
  • For more extensive health benefits, increase aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes a week of moderate intensity or 150 minutes a week of vigorous intensity.  Alternative: Do an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount.
  • For full-body health benefits, on 2 or more days a week do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate- or high-intensity and involve all major muscle groups.

Physical inactivity increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, certain cancers, depression, and premature death.[2]-[3] Between 2006 and 2011, 11.1% of health care expenditures were associated with physical inactivity, which cost the US an estimated $117 billion annually.[4] Only 21% of adults meet the 2008 physical activity guidelines as listed above.[5] Non-Hispanic white adults report more aerobic and muscle strengthening physical activity than non-Hispanic black and Hispanic adults.[6] Increasing physical activity, especially from a baseline absence of activity, prevents numerous chronic diseases and aids in their management.[7] It is estimated that physical inactivity is responsible for almost 1 in 10 deaths annually.[8] Physical inactivity is associated with many social and environmental factors including low educational attainment, socioeconomic status, violent crime, and poverty.[9] Socioeconomic status and education moderate the relationship between race and physical inactivity;[10] adults with higher education or those with higher incomes are more likely to be physically active than those with low education or low income.[11] For resources and tips on adding physical activity to your life, see CDC's Physical Activity page.

Healthy People 2020’s objective is to reduce by 10.0% the proportion of adults who engage in no leisure-time physical activity.[12] In addition, Healthy People 2020 has a leading health indicator to increase the proportion of adults who meet federal guidelines for aerobic physical activity and for muscle-strengthening activity.

[1] US Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. Accessed July 7, 2015.

[2] Hu FB. Sedentary lifestyle and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Lipids. 2003;38(2):103.

[3] King AC. Environmental and policy approaches to cardiovascular disease prevention through physical activity: issues and opportunities. Health Education Behavior. 1995;22(4):499.

[4] Carlson S, Fulton J, Pratt M, Yang Z, Adams E. Inadequate physical activity and health care expenditures in the United States. 2015;57:315.

[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts about physical activity. Updated May 23, 2014. Accessed July 24, 2015.

[6] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts about physical activity. Updated May 23, 2014. Accessed July 24, 2015.

[7] Weiler R, Stamatakis E, Blair S. Should health policy focus on physical activity rather than obesity? Yes. BMJ. 2010;340(7757):1170-1171.

[8] Danaei G. The preventable causes of death in the United States: comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors. PLoS Medicine. 2009;6(4).

[9] King AC. Personal and environmental factors associated with physical inactivity among different racial–ethnic groups of US middle-aged and older-aged women. Health Psychology. 2000;19(4):354.

[10] Marshall S, Jones D, Ainsworth B, Reis J, Levy S, Macera C. Race/ethnicity, social class, and leisure time physical inactivity. 2007;39(1):44.

[11] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts about physical activity. Updated May 23, 2014. Accessed July 22, 2015.

[12] Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy People 2020. Accessed May 20, 2015.