Oregon Ranks High for Physical Activity

Oregon is one of the most physically active states in the country, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The CDC surveyed American adults from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico, to determine the prevalence of physical inactivity by region and ethnicity. Physical inactivity is defined as “engaging in no leisure-time physical activity during the past month,” such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise.  

According to the data, all state populations are at least 15 percent inactive, and Oregon is one of only five in the 15-20 percent range, along with Colorado, Utah, Washington and the District of Columbia. The highest rate of inactivity can be found in Puerto Rico, with an alarming 47.7 percent.  

“Physical inactivity is high across the U.S., and varies by location, race, and ethnicity,” CDC epidemiologist Emily Ussery told The Oregonian. “In most states, the prevalence of physical inactivity is higher among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic adults compared to non-Hispanic white adults.”  

Furthermore, she reports that “Many people in the U.S. do not have access to safe or convenient places where they can be active, like community parks, sidewalks, or trails.”  

Both Ussery and Dr. Elizabeth Budd of the University of Oregon’s College of Education attribute this to socio-economic factors. “The community we live in is a strong indicator of our own activity level,” Budd said, “because it consists of infrastructure, policy and access to activity.”  

Oregon is thus fortunate to have an abundance of public spaces, as well as the policies needed to support them.   

By Brandon Urey  

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