Physical inactivity is one of the major underlying causes of premature mortality in the United States. One of the national health objectives for 2000 is to decrease to 15% the proportion of persons aged > or =6 years who are inactive during their leisure time. However, a large proportion of adults remain physically inactive: 28.7% in 1992 and 29.4% in 1994 reported no leisure-time physical activity during the preceding month. To determine whether area of residence impacts physical activity, CDC analyzed data from the 1996 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to estimate physical activity by degree of urbanization and geographic region of respondents. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicate that the level of leisure-time physical activity is related to the degree of urbanization and varies in different geographic regions.