Prevalence of no leisure-time physical activity--35 States and the District of Columbia, 1988-2002

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Feb 6;53(4):82-6.


Physical inactivity is associated with obesity and increased risk for chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and diabetes mellitus) and premature mortality. A national health objective for 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of no leisure-time physical activity to 20%. Women, older adults, and the majority of racial/ethnic minority populations have the greatest prevalence of leisure-time physical inactivity. To examine trends in no leisure-time physical activity and further characterize them by sex, age group, and racial/ethnic population, CDC analyzed 1988-2002 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 35 states and the District of Columbia (DC). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that leisure-time physical inactivity decreased during 1988-2002, especially after 1996, with declining trends among men and women, the majority of age groups, and the majority of racial/ethnic populations. To promote further declines, state and local health departments and other organizations should adopt effective, evidence-based strategies to encourage more adults to be physically active in their leisure time.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology