Special Report

The Laziest City in Each State

1. Alabama
> Laziest city:
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 66.8%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 70.6%
> Obesity rate: 31.5%
> City population: 117,714

Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville is the least active city in a fairly inactive state. In Alabama, 70.6% of residents report regular physical activity, significantly less than the 73.0% of Americans who do. Residents of Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville are even less active. In the state’s laziest metro area, 66.8% of residents get exercise regularly, the 9th lowest rate of any city nationwide.

Less active populations are more likely to be in worse physical health. In Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, however, residents are about as healthy as the rest of the state. Of all adults in the metro area, 31.5% are obese — roughly similar to Alabama’s 33.2% obesity rate, the 4th highest of any state. Adults in Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville are less healthy than Alabama adults in other measures as well. Adults in the metro area report feeling physically unhealthy for 5.2 days out of the last month on average, nearly a full day more than the statewide response of 4.3 days.

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2. Alaska
> Laziest city:
Fairbanks
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 79.8%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 79.9%
> Obesity rate: 28.5%
> City population: 100,436

Nearly 80% of adults in Alaska engage in physical activity with some regularity. The situation is roughly the same in Fairbanks, the state’s least active metro area, where 79.8% of adults get regular exercise. The city and the state also share similar health outcomes. The obesity rate in Fairbanks is 28.5%, not much higher than Alaska’s 28.3% obesity rate. Healthy behaviors and outcomes in Alaska are fairly uniform across the state. Even in Anchorage — the only other metro area in the state and the least lazy by default — 81.0% of residents report physical activity and 27.9% are obese.

3. Arizona
> Laziest city:
Lake Havasu City-Kingman
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 69.3%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 79.6%
> Obesity rate: 26.6%
> City population: 201,216

Arizona residents are more likely to exercise regularly than the average American. Nearly 80% of state residents report regular physical activity compared to the 73.0% of Americans who do. Residents of Lake Havasu City-Kingman, however, the state’s laziest metro area, are not as active. Just 69.3% of residents are physically active. Higher rates of physical activity tend to coincide with higher obesity rates. Among the metro area’s adults, 26.6% are obese, slightly higher than Arizona’s 23.9% obesity rate, but still well below the national rate of 28.3%. Adults in Lake Havasu City-Kingman are less healthy than Arizona adults in other health measure as well. Adults in the metro area felt physically unhealthy for 4.4 days out of the last month on average, 0.9 days more than the statewide response. The age of a population can also affect its activity levels, as the elderly are less likely to exercise regularly. In Lake Havasu City-Kingman, 27.0% of residents are 65 years or older, the 10th highest share nationwide.

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4. Arkansas
> Laziest city:
Pine Bluff
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 64.2%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 69.5%
> Obesity rate: 37.8%
> City population: 99,688

In the Pine Bluff metro area, 64.2% of residents are physically active, the lowest percentage in Arkansas, where 69.5% of residents report regular physical activity, itself the third lowest of all states. Less active populations are more likely to be unhealthy, and Pine Bluff is no exception. As many as 37.8% of metro area adults are obese, higher than Arkansas’s 32.9% obesity rate, which is the fifth highest of any state. In other health measures, however, adults in Pine Bluff are about as healthy as Arkansas adults. When surveyed, adults in the metro area reported feeling physically unhealthy for four days per month on average, in line with the statewide survey responses. Populations with higher incomes are often more physically active, and vice versa. The typical Pine Bluff household makes just $33,838 annually, the lowest median income in the state.

5. California
> Laziest city:
El Centro
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 76.9%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 83.2%
> Obesity rate: 22.1%
> City population: 173,487

El Centro is the least active city in a particularly active state. More than 83% of California adults report regular physical activity, a significantly larger share than the 73% of Americans who do and the fourth most active state in the country. While El Centro adults are not as active as statewide residents, they are still more active than Americans overall, with 76.9% of residents reporting regular physical activity. Less active populations are more likely to be in poor physical health. In El Centro, however, residents are about as healthy as the rest of the state. The metro area’s adult obesity rate is 22.1%, roughly in line with California’s 22.9% obesity rate.