AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Despite a growing interest in health awareness, COVID-19 led to a sharp, immediate decline in physical activity among U.S. adults as gyms closed and residents increasingly stayed home.
A recent study by the American College of Physicians using fitness trackers found that average daily step counts were down 15 percent in the United States within two weeks of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic. Globally, the average number of steps taken per day decreased by 27.3 percent within a month.
As Americans settle into the new normal of COVID-19, residents living in areas with convenient outdoor access, and who embrace new at-home fitness technologies, are more likely to maintain high levels of activity in the months ahead.
In addition to the long-term benefits of regular physical activity such as weight management and reduced health risks, physical activity produces immediate benefits to one’s brain health. Adults can experience reduced short-term feelings of anxiety, and children benefit from improved thinking and cognition. Physically activity also lowers the risk of childhood obesity, which according to the CDC, is related to depression, low self-esteem, and stigma in addition to high blood pressure, respiratory issues, diabetes, and other health problems.
Researchers at RetailMeNot analyzed recent CDC data to find the most physically active cities in the United States. Apparent in their findings was a strong correlation between physical activity among adults and both physical and mental health.
Geographically, Mountain and Western states have the highest percentage of physically active adults in the United States, with Utah and Colorado leading the way at 81.5 percent and 81.3 percent, respectively. Washington and Montana also show more than 80 percent of adults as being physically active.
The states with the lowest percentage of physically active adults are primarily in the South, with Oklahoma, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama all reporting rates lower than 70 percent. In Mississippi, only 62.3 percent of adults report being physically active, the lowest percentage in the country.
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on RetailMeNot’s website: https://www.retailmenot.com/blog/most-physically-active-cities.html
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