Special Report

The Laziest City in Each State

16. Kansas
> Laziest city:
Wichita
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 75.1%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 75.9%
> Obesity rate: 30.3%
> City population: 621,281

Wichita adults are not as active as statewide residents, but they are still more active than Americans overall, with 75.1% of residents reporting being physically inactive.

Less active populations are less likely to have higher obesity rates. In Wichita, however, residents are about as fit as the rest of the state. The obesity rate in the metro area of 30.3% is exactly in line with the statewide rate. Populations with higher educational attainment are often more physically active, and vice versa. In Wichita, just 29.4% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, the second lowest share in the state.

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17. Kentucky
> Laziest city:
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 70.6%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 70.9%
> Obesity rate: 31.8%
> City population: 149,388

Elizabethtown-Fort Knox is the least active city in a rather inactive state. In Kentucky, 70.9% of residents report regular physical activity, less than the 73.0% of Americans who do and the eighth lowest of any state. Residents of Elizabethtown-Fort Knox are similarly inactive. In the state’s laziest metro area, 70.6% of residents are physically active.

Less active populations are more likely to be in worse physical health. In Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, residents are about as healthy as the rest of the unhealthy state. Of all adults in the metro area, 31.8% are obese — roughly similar to Kentucky’s 32.1% obesity rate, the 7th highest of any state.

18. Louisiana
> Laziest city:
Houma-Thibodaux
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 66.4%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 70.1%
> Obesity rate: 37.1%
> City population: 209,890

In Louisiana, 70.1% of residents report regular physical activity, 2.9 percentage points less than the 73.0% of Americans who do. In Houma-Thibodaux, residents are even less active, with just 66.4% of residents exercising regularly. Inadequate physical activity can be indicative of other unhealthy behaviors that together lead to worse health outcomes overall. The obesity rate in Houma-Thibodaux is 37.1%, significantly higher than Louisiana’s 34.1% obesity rate — itself the second highest of any state.

In places where the educational attainment is low, residents tend to exercise less. In Houma-Thibodaux, just 14.6% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, the lowest share statewide.

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19. Maine
> Laziest city:
Bangor
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 75.7%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 78.6%
> Obesity rate: 31.7%
> City population: 153,742

Only 75.7% of adults in Bangor report regular exercise, the smallest share of any metro area in Maine. While Bangor is the least active city in Maine, where 78.6% of adults exercise regularly, it is still more active than the national share of 73.0% of Americans who report regular exercise. Populations with higher incomes are often more physically active, and vice versa. In Bangor, the typical household makes just $42,242 annually, the lowest median income in the state.

Less active populations are also more likely to have higher obesity rates, and Bangor is no exception. Of all adults in the metro area, 31.7% are obese, slightly higher than Maine’s 27.9% obesity rate. Adults in Bangor are less healthy than Maine adults overall by other measures. When surveyed, adults in the metro area reported feeling physically unhealthy for 4.0 days out of the last month on average, about half a day more than the statewide response.

20. Maryland
> Laziest city:
Cumberland
> Pct. of city residents reporting physical activity: 69.9%
> Pct. of state residents reporting physical activity: 77.1%
> Obesity rate: 29.3%
> City population: 102,694

In Maryland, 77.1% of residents report regular physical activity, significantly more than the 73.0% of Americans who do. Residents of Cumberland, however, do not share an exercise habit with the rest of the state. In Maryland’s laziest metro area, just 69.9% of residents get regular exercise, one of the lowest rates of any metro area. Less active populations are more likely to be in worse physical health, and Cumberland is no exception. Adults in the metro area report feeling physically unhealthy for 4.5 days out of the last month on average, a day and a half more than the statewide response of 3.0 days. Areas with lower incomes tend to get less exercise and have worse health outcomes. The typical household in Cumberland makes just $38,580 annually, the lowest median income in the state.