Special Report

50 Cities Getting the Least Exercise

Staying in shape during the winter can be quite the challenge. Americans seem to manage though. Gym membership in the United States has been trending upward for at least a decade, and more Americans are getting the recommended amount of physical activity.

Despite these increases, the obesity rate has also risen. With more than a third of American adults considered obese and more than half overweight, the rising interest in in fitness and sports may not be surprising.

Approximately 22% of adults fail to get any exercise whatsoever outside of work. In some cities, that percentage is much higher. In some cities, where residents often do not have access to gyms, recreation centers, and parks, the proportion of adults getting no regular activity frequently exceeds 33%.

To identify the cities getting the least exercise, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of two measures: the share of adults in a metro area who are physically active during their leisure time and the share of the population who has access to areas for physical activities outside of their homes.

The least physically active metropolitan areas are clustered in certain regions. Of the 50 cities getting the least exercise, seven are in Tennessee, six are in West Virginia, and another five are in Alabama. While Southern states are well-represented in the list of cities where the population is not getting a healthy amount of exercise, residents of Western and some Northeastern states by contrast are typically far more active.

Click here to see the cities getting the least exercise.
Click here to see the cities getting the most exercise.