A new CDC study from the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity found that approximately 31 million adults aged 50 and older (28%) are inactive. Inactivity is defined as no physical activity beyond basic movement from daily life activities.
Key findings of this MMWR report:
Inactivity was higher for women (29.4%) compared to men (25.5%).
Inactivity varied by race and ethnicity and was 32.7% for Hispanics, 33.1% for non-Hispanic blacks, 26.2% for Hispanic whites, and 27.1% for other groups.
Inactivity significantly increased by age groups and was 25.4% for adults 50-64 years, 26.9% for those 65-74 years, and 35.3% for those 75 years and older.
More adults with at least one chronic disease were inactive (31.9 %) compared to adults with no chronic disease (19.2%).
By region, inactivity was highest in the South (30.1%) followed by the Midwest (28.4%) and the Northeast (26.6%). Inactivity was lowest in the West (23.1%).
By states and the District of Columbia, the percentage of inactivity ranged from 17.9% in Colorado to 38.8% in Arkansas.
The percentage of inactivity decreased as education increased, and increased as weight status increased.
Helping inactive people become more active is an important step towards healthier communities. Many adults age 50 years and older want to be active but face barriers in their communities. Communities that offer design enhancements and healthy lifestyle programs can play a major role in supporting physical activity.