1 out of 4 US Adults 50 Years and Older are Physically Inactive
New CDC Study Shows 1 out of 4 US Adults 50 Years and Older
are Physically Inactive
Regular physical activity is vital for healthy aging. It can help delay, prevent, or manage many costly chronic diseases. Physical activity can also reduce the risk of premature death. Despite these benefits, a new study published by the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity found that 31 million adults aged 50 and older (28%) are inactive.
The study used data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a telephone-based survey. Respondents were defined as inactive if they answered “no” to the question, "During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise?"
Among U.S. states and DC, the percentage of inactivity ranged from 17.9% in Colorado to 38.8% in Arkansas. It was also higher among women, Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks, and adults with ≥1 chronic disease than their counterparts. The percentage of inactivity also decreased as education increased and increased as weight status increased.
Helping inactive people become more active is an important step towards healthier communities. Many adults age 50 years and older want to be active but face barriers in their communities. Communities that offer design enhancements and healthy lifestyle programs can play a role in supporting physical activity. We can all work together to make positive changes in our communities that make it safer and easier for people of all ages and abilities to be physically active.