Do You Live in One of the Laziest States in the U.S.? Here's Your Reason to Get Off the Couch and Go for a Run
I’m awful about exercising. Or at least, I have been recently. When I lived in New York City, I walked or took the subway everywhere, so I always got a decent amount of cardio in without really having to think about it. Once I moved to the suburbs, though, I started walking a lot less, mostly because there’s only so far you can get on foot out here — and I work from home, which means my commute is only as far away as my living room. I’ve been trying to get better about it this summer, though; there’s a trail literally a few feet away from my apartment, so for the past few weeks I’ve been going for a 45-minute bike ride three days a week. It’s not much, but it’s a start — and at least it will keep me off of this list of the top 10 laziest states in America.
Using the CDC’s 2014 State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, Business Insider ranked each state in the nation on how much exercise they get — and a little discouragingly, there are a whole lot of states who report that more than 25 percent of the population doesn’t get any exercise in their time off. Missouri has the dubious honor of being the least bad of the top 10, with 28.4 percent reporting no leisure-time physical activity (more jumping jacks, anyone?); Mississippi, however, clocks in at a whopping 36 percent, making it the laziest state in the entire U.S.
Here are the top 10 worst offenders:
It’s worth noting, though — and BI rightly pointed this out — that the ranking only takes into account “leisure-time physical activity.” That means that it doesn’t take into account, say, people who have physically demanding jobs, or people who just don’t have a whole lot of leisure time in the first place. So, y'know, there's that.
I probably don’t have to tell you that making sure you move around enough is generally a good idea. But hey, guess what? For those of you in the same boat as me, you don’t necessarily have to spend hours at the gym every week to get enough exercise. Pacific Standard took a look at the whole “how much exercise is enough?” question last week, and when they spoke to Harvard School of Public Health professor of epidemiology I-Min Lee, they found that a brisk half-hour walk five times a week is A-OK. “We used to think you used to have to go out for a run, or swim for an hour without stopping — but we’ve realized now from the body of research that we have that any movement is good,” Lee said. Indeed, a study conducted by Taiwan’s National Heath Research Institutes found that those who exercised just 15 minutes per day had a live expectancy on average three years longer than those who didn’t.
So go on. Put your favorite workout song on repeat and just get moving. 15 to 30 minutes a day isn’t so bad, right?