Fitness Fail: 25 Percent of Americans Do Not Exercise

Californians were a bit more active than the average American with only 19.1 percent of adults not engaging in voluntary exercise

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Californians are slightly more active than the average American -- one in four of whom do not participate in any voluntary exercise, according to new report by the Centers for Disease Control.

The 2014 State Indicator Report on Physical Activity looked at how states support exercise in local communities.

A survey of every state and the District of Columbia found that 25.4 percent of American adults engaged in no voluntary exercise. For young people the number is 15.2 percent.

The percentage of Americans that met this more rigorous benchmark was 20.6 percent.

According to the report, Californians were a bit more active than the average American with only 19.1 percent of adults not engaging in voluntary exercise. Californian adults that met the government recommendations were 23.7 percent.

Numbers on youth exercise rates for the state were unavailable.

Physical activity guidelines released by the U.S. Department of Health recommend that adults participate in at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic physical activity and two or more times a week of muscle-strengthening activities.

The report is designed to help local governments create safe places for kids and adults to participate in physical activities, enhance activities in school and child care environments and develop policies in urban planning that allow people to walk or bike to work.

This is especially important for the quarter of adults in the U.S. who reported no physical activity at all. Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana and Alabama rounded out the top five most sedentary states in the country.

California does better than the national average of the percentage of youth that have access to parks and community centers and the state also has a policy on time spent on physical activity in PE class.

However, there is no state-provided policy guarantee for recess at school, unlike 30 other states.

Data for the report was taken from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual telephone survey with seven questions about exercise. For exercise behaviors in young people, data was taken from a classroom survey with questions about physical activities and education.

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