Special Report

The Couch Potato Capital of Every State

dcdp / iStock

The United States’ obesity rate has steadily increased since 1980. Among adults, the obesity rate increased from below 20% to 39.6%. The United States is facing several health concerns, including increased obesity and diabetes. One key factor that could contribute to better health outcomes is exercise — and Americans often do not get enough and many lead sedentary lifestyles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults gets at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, as well as two muscle strengthening activities per week. Many adults in the United States, however, are leading sedentary lifestyles. In 2014, the CDC reported that just 21% of U.S. adults are getting the recommended amount of exercise.

Many adults report that they do not get any physical activity in their leisure time, but this trend varies considerably across the country. In some states, a higher share of adults get more exercise than the average share nationwide even in the least active major metropolitan area.

To determine the metropolitan area getting the least exercise in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of adults who are physically active and the share of adults who have access to an area of exercise.

Click here to see the city getting the least exercise in every state.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: JNix / Shutterstock.com

1. Alabama: Gadsden
> Adults who do not exercise: 34.2% (Alabama: 29.0%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 56.4% (Alabama: 29.0%)
> Obesity rate: 36.8% (Alabama: 34.7%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 23.0% (Alabama: 21.4%)
> Median household income: $41,152 (Alabama: $46,257)

Source: Rocky Grimes / Shutterstock.com

2. Alaska: Anchorage
> Adults who do not exercise: 18.2% (Alaska: 19.3%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 16.1% (Alaska: 19.3%)
> Obesity rate: 28.6% (Alaska: 29.4%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 13.4% (Alaska: 13.4%)
> Median household income: $82,203 (Alaska: $76,440)

Source: Thinkstock

3. Arizona: Lake Havasu City-Kingman
> Adults who do not exercise: 30.1% (Arizona: 20.2%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 34.5% (Arizona: 20.2%)
> Obesity rate: 30.4% (Arizona: 26.7%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 20.9% (Arizona: 17.8%)
> Median household income: $42,423 (Arizona: $53,558)

Source: Paul Sableman (Flickr user: pasa47) / Wikimedia Commons

4. Arkansas: Pine Bluff
> Adults who do not exercise: 33.9% (Arkansas: 32.3%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 51.9% (Arkansas: 32.3%)
> Obesity rate: 40.5% (Arkansas: 34.6%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 25.7% (Arkansas: 24.5%)
> Median household income: $37,076 (Arkansas: $44,334)

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

5. California: Yuba City
> Adults who do not exercise: 19.8% (California: 17.9%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 63.4% (California: 17.9%)
> Obesity rate: 29.0% (California: 22.7%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 18.2% (California: 17.5%)
> Median household income: $50,775 (California: $67,739)

Source: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

6. Colorado: Pueblo
> Adults who do not exercise: 21.5% (Colorado: 15.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 18.9% (Colorado: 15.1%)
> Obesity rate: 27.1% (Colorado: 20.5%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 22.1% (Colorado: 14.3%)
> Median household income: $44,677 (Colorado: $65,685)

Source: danlogan / iStock

7. Connecticut: Norwich-New London
> Adults who do not exercise: 20.7% (Connecticut: 20.4%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 9.1% (Connecticut: 20.4%)
> Obesity rate: 28.7% (Connecticut: 25.2%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 12.1% (Connecticut: 13.8%)
> Median household income: $70,699 (Connecticut: $73,433)

Source: Thinkstock

8. Delaware: Dover
> Adults who do not exercise: 30.3% (Delaware: 26.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 38.0% (Delaware: 26.1%)
> Obesity rate: 33.6% (Delaware: 30.6%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 16.9% (Delaware: 15.8%)
> Median household income: $54,140 (Delaware: $61,757)

Source: Ultrahip / Wikimedia Commons

9. Florida: Lakeland-Winter Haven
> Adults who do not exercise: 28.0% (Florida: 23.8%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 26.8% (Florida: 23.8%)
> Obesity rate: 34.4% (Florida: 25.9%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 20.3% (Florida: 18.5%)
> Median household income: $46,355 (Florida: $50,860)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

10. Georgia: Albany
> Adults who do not exercise: 27.5% (Georgia: 24.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 41.6% (Georgia: 24.1%)
> Obesity rate: 34.8% (Georgia: 30.2%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 22.4% (Georgia: 18.8%)
> Median household income: $40,667 (Georgia: $53,559)

Source: Thinkstock

11. Hawaii: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina
> Adults who do not exercise: 19.6% (Hawaii: 20.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 8.4% (Hawaii: 20.1%)
> Obesity rate: 22.9% (Hawaii: 22.3%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 12.8% (Hawaii: 14.0%)
> Median household income: $72,268 (Hawaii: $74,511)

Source: Thinkstock

12. Idaho: Lewiston
> Adults who do not exercise: 24.3% (Idaho: 20.2%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 17.8% (Idaho: 20.2%)
> Obesity rate: 32.5% (Idaho: 28.6%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 14.7% (Idaho: 15.3%)
> Median household income: $47,869 (Idaho: $51,807)

Source: Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons

13. Illinois: Danville
> Adults who do not exercise: 28.1% (Illinois: 22.2%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 28.2% (Illinois: 22.2%)
> Obesity rate: 34.2% (Illinois: 28.0%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 18.9% (Illinois: 17.2%)
> Median household income: $45,481 (Illinois: $60,960)

Source: Cameronloyd03 / Wikimedia Commons

14. Indiana: Kokomo
> Adults who do not exercise: 28.2% (Indiana: 26.8%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 28.3% (Indiana: 26.8%)
> Obesity rate: 31.2% (Indiana: 32.0%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 17.8% (Indiana: 17.7%)
> Median household income: $45,702 (Indiana: $52,314)

Source: Thinkstock

15. Iowa: Sioux City
> Adults who do not exercise: 27.8% (Iowa: 24.7%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 11.7% (Iowa: 24.7%)
> Obesity rate: 35.2% (Iowa: 31.8%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 15.5% (Iowa: 13.1%)
> Median household income: $56,687 (Iowa: $56,247)

Source: Thinkstock

16. Kansas: Topeka
> Adults who do not exercise: 25.0% (Kansas: 24.6%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 21.5% (Kansas: 24.6%)
> Obesity rate: 34.6% (Kansas: 32.4%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 14.4% (Kansas: 15.0%)
> Median household income: $56,548 (Kansas: $54,935)

Source: OPMaster / Wikimedia Commons

17. Kentucky: Bowling Green
> Adults who do not exercise: 26.4% (Kentucky: 28.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 40.9% (Kentucky: 28.1%)
> Obesity rate: 32.7% (Kentucky: 33.7%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 19.0% (Kentucky: 21.3%)
> Median household income: $45,649 (Kentucky: $46,659)

Source: Richard David Ramsey / Wikimedia Commons

18. Louisiana: Hammond
> Adults who do not exercise: 35.9% (Louisiana: 29.6%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 30.4% (Louisiana: 29.6%)
> Obesity rate: 37.5% (Louisiana: 34.7%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 19.7% (Louisiana: 21.1%)
> Median household income: $48,162 (Louisiana: $45,146)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

19. Maine: Bangor
> Adults who do not exercise: 23.3% (Maine: 21.4%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 24.8% (Maine: 21.4%)
> Obesity rate: 30.7% (Maine: 29.0%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 14.2% (Maine: 15.4%)
> Median household income: $47,328 (Maine: $53,079)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

20. Maryland: Hagerstown-Martinsburg
> Adults who do not exercise: 26.9% (Maryland: 22.2%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 32.6% (Maryland: 22.2%)
> Obesity rate: 34.5% (Maryland: 29.2%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 17.7% (Maryland: 13.9%)
> Median household income: $55,862 (Maryland: $78,945)

Source: Thinkstock

21. Massachusetts: Springfield
> Adults who do not exercise: 23.0% (Massachusetts: 21.5%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 8.2% (Massachusetts: 21.5%)
> Obesity rate: 25.7% (Massachusetts: 24.3%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 16.4% (Massachusetts: 13.8%)
> Median household income: $54,855 (Massachusetts: $75,297)

Source: Dhacim / Wikimedia Commons

22. Michigan: Saginaw
> Adults who do not exercise: 21.8% (Michigan: 23.2%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 35.3% (Michigan: 23.2%)
> Obesity rate: 39.8% (Michigan: 31.3%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 18.0% (Michigan: 17.4%)
> Median household income: $45,849 (Michigan: $52,492)

Source: Anh Luu / Shutterstock.com

23. Minnesota: St. Cloud
> Adults who do not exercise: 21.0% (Minnesota: 19.8%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 23.5% (Minnesota: 19.8%)
> Obesity rate: 28.1% (Minnesota: 27.3%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 12.6% (Minnesota: 12.0%)
> Median household income: $56,620 (Minnesota: $65,599)

Source: Thinkstock

24. Mississippi: Jackson
> Adults who do not exercise: 32.3% (Mississippi: 34.0%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 30.7% (Mississippi: 34.0%)
> Obesity rate: 33.9% (Mississippi: 35.3%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 19.6% (Mississippi: 22.2%)
> Median household income: $50,632 (Mississippi: $41,754)

Source: Thinkstock

25. Missouri: Cape Girardeau
> Adults who do not exercise: 29.5% (Missouri: 25.8%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 31.8% (Missouri: 25.8%)
> Obesity rate: 30.1% (Missouri: 31.8%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 19.3% (Missouri: 18.5%)
> Median household income: $49,059 (Missouri: $51,746)

Source: Thinkstock

26. Montana: Billings
> Adults who do not exercise: 21.8% (Montana: 20.8%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 19.1% (Montana: 20.8%)
> Obesity rate: 25.7% (Montana: 25.0%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 13.8% (Montana: 13.9%)
> Median household income: $58,037 (Montana: $50,027)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska: Grand Island
> Adults who do not exercise: 26.8% (Nebraska: 22.7%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 17.8% (Nebraska: 22.7%)
> Obesity rate: 32.7% (Nebraska: 30.7%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 14.4% (Nebraska: 14.2%)
> Median household income: $55,435 (Nebraska: $56,927)

Source: Thinkstock

28. Nevada: Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise
> Adults who do not exercise: 23.1% (Nevada: 22.2%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 3.9% (Nevada: 22.2%)
> Obesity rate: 27.7% (Nevada: 26.8%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 18.6% (Nevada: 20.5%)
> Median household income: $54,384 (Nevada: $55,180)

Source: Thinkstock

29. New Hampshire: Manchester-Nashua
> Adults who do not exercise: 20.6% (New Hampshire: 20.6%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 13.5% (New Hampshire: 20.6%)
> Obesity rate: 28.1% (New Hampshire: 27.9%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 12.6% (New Hampshire: 13.6%)
> Median household income: $76,254 (New Hampshire: $70,936)

Source: Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons

30. New Jersey: Vineland-Bridgeton
> Adults who do not exercise: 29.3% (New Jersey: 23.3%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 18.9% (New Jersey: 23.3%)
> Obesity rate: 34.7% (New Jersey: 25.9%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 23.2% (New Jersey: 16.5%)
> Median household income: $49,110 (New Jersey: $76,126)

Source: Thinkstock

31. New Mexico: Farmington
> Adults who do not exercise: 23.7% (New Mexico: 19.4%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 47.5% (New Mexico: 19.4%)
> Obesity rate: 31.6% (New Mexico: 24.4%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 19.3% (New Mexico: 20.8%)
> Median household income: $52,003 (New Mexico: $46,748)

Source: Doug Kerr / Flickr

32. New York: Watertown-Fort Drum
> Adults who do not exercise: 31.8% (New York: 25.4%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 36.4% (New York: 25.4%)
> Obesity rate: 30.8% (New York: 25.0%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 17.5% (New York: 16.1%)
> Median household income: $45,624 (New York: $62,909)

Source: Bryant Johnson / Flickr

33. North Carolina: Goldsboro
> Adults who do not exercise: 30.2% (North Carolina: 24.3%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 48.6% (North Carolina: 24.3%)
> Obesity rate: 38.2% (North Carolina: 29.6%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 21.0% (North Carolina: 17.6%)
> Median household income: $41,711 (North Carolina: $50,584)

Source: Thinkstock

34. North Dakota: Bismarck
> Adults who do not exercise: 22.5% (North Dakota: 23.8%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 26.5% (North Dakota: 23.8%)
> Obesity rate: 30.6% (North Dakota: 31.8%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 12.4% (North Dakota: 14.3%)
> Median household income: $65,527 (North Dakota: $60,656)

Source: John Siegenthaler / Wikimedia Commons

35. Ohio: Mansfield
> Adults who do not exercise: 28.3% (Ohio: 25.7%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 29.4% (Ohio: 25.7%)
> Obesity rate: 31.1% (Ohio: 31.6%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 19.0% (Ohio: 17.0%)
> Median household income: $44,073 (Ohio: $52,334)

Source: duggar11 / Wikimedia Commons

36. Oklahoma: Lawton
> Adults who do not exercise: 30.7% (Oklahoma: 29.9%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 57.5% (Oklahoma: 29.9%)
> Obesity rate: 35.6% (Oklahoma: 33.2%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 19.5% (Oklahoma: 19.6%)
> Median household income: $50,980 (Oklahoma: $49,176)

Source: Rex_Wholster / Getty Images

37. Oregon: Medford
> Adults who do not exercise: 18.0% (Oregon: 15.8%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 63.3% (Oregon: 15.8%)
> Obesity rate: 26.6% (Oregon: 27.2%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 13.3% (Oregon: 15.8%)
> Median household income: $48,563 (Oregon: $57,532)

Source: Thinkstock

38. Pennsylvania: Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton
> Adults who do not exercise: 26.5% (Pennsylvania: 24.0%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 67.1% (Pennsylvania: 24.0%)
> Obesity rate: 28.7% (Pennsylvania: 29.6%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 15.6% (Pennsylvania: 15.1%)
> Median household income: $47,422 (Pennsylvania: $56,907)

Source: Thinkstock

39. Rhode Island: Providence-Warwick
> Adults who do not exercise: 25.0% (Rhode Island: 24.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 8.9% (Rhode Island: 24.1%)
> Obesity rate: 27.9% (Rhode Island: 27.2%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 14.5% (Rhode Island: 14.8%)
> Median household income: $61,948 (Rhode Island: $60,596)

Source: Florence Conventions and Visitors Bureau / Wikimedia Commons

40. South Carolina: Florence
> Adults who do not exercise: 30.7% (South Carolina: 24.8%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 60.8% (South Carolina: 24.8%)
> Obesity rate: 35.9% (South Carolina: 32.0%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 21.6% (South Carolina: 19.1%)
> Median household income: $42,200 (South Carolina: $49,501)

Source: Thinkstock

41. South Dakota: Rapid City
> Adults who do not exercise: 19.5% (South Dakota: 21.5%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 15.4% (South Dakota: 21.5%)
> Obesity rate: 27.2% (South Dakota: 30.6%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 12.6% (South Dakota: 11.8%)
> Median household income: $51,097 (South Dakota: $54,467)

Source: Mjramsey1 / Wikimedia Commons

42. Tennessee: Morristown
> Adults who do not exercise: 32.9% (Tennessee: 30.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 32.8% (Tennessee: 30.1%)
> Obesity rate: 32.9% (Tennessee: 32.4%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 20.6% (Tennessee: 19.1%)
> Median household income: $44,348 (Tennessee: $48,547)

Source: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

43. Texas: Texarkana
> Adults who do not exercise: 34.6% (Texas: 24.3%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 49.4% (Texas: 24.3%)
> Obesity rate: 34.9% (Texas: 28.4%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 20.0% (Texas: 18.2%)
> Median household income: $42,513 (Texas: $56,565)

Source: Thinkstock

44. Utah: St. George
> Adults who do not exercise: 18.5% (Utah: 17.4%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 17.0% (Utah: 17.4%)
> Obesity rate: 24.3% (Utah: 25.3%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 11.5% (Utah: 12.1%)
> Median household income: $55,056 (Utah: $65,977)

Source: Thinkstock

45. Vermont: Burlington-South Burlington
> Adults who do not exercise: 17.5% (Vermont: 19.5%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 15.0% (Vermont: 19.5%)
> Obesity rate: 21.7% (Vermont: 24.7%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 10.5% (Vermont: 12.5%)
> Median household income: $66,367 (Vermont: $57,677)

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

46. Virginia: Lynchburg
> Adults who do not exercise: 25.6% (Virginia: 22.3%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 36.5% (Virginia: 22.3%)
> Obesity rate: 31.8% (Virginia: 28.3%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 16.1% (Virginia: 15.9%)
> Median household income: $48,530 (Virginia: $68,114)

Source: Michael S. Shannon / Wikimedia Commons

47. Washington: Yakima
> Adults who do not exercise: 24.2% (Washington: 17.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 20.8% (Washington: 17.1%)
> Obesity rate: 30.9% (Washington: 27.0%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 21.2% (Washington: 13.9%)
> Median household income: $48,965 (Washington: $67,106)

Source: Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant) / Wikimedia Commons

48. West Virginia: Beckley
> Adults who do not exercise: 31.0% (West Virginia: 29.2%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 42.8% (West Virginia: 29.2%)
> Obesity rate: 36.8% (West Virginia: 35.5%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 25.2% (West Virginia: 24.1%)
> Median household income: $44,178 (West Virginia: $43,385)

Source: Thinkstock

49. Wisconsin: Wausau
> Adults who do not exercise: 23.1% (Wisconsin: 21.1%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 26.6% (Wisconsin: 21.1%)
> Obesity rate: 30.5% (Wisconsin: 30.6%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 11.8% (Wisconsin: 15.4%)
> Median household income: $54,774 (Wisconsin: $56,811)

Source: Thinkstock

50. Wyoming: Cheyenne
> Adults who do not exercise: 23.7% (Wyoming: 23.7%)
> Population with no access to exercise locations: 29.4% (Wyoming: 23.7%)
> Obesity rate: 30.5% (Wyoming: 28.5%)
> Adults in fair or poor health: 14.6% (Wyoming: 15.1%)
> Median household income: $62,221 (Wyoming: $59,882)

Detailed Findings & Methodology:

Physical activity, along with a nutritious diet, are important parts of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can help people maintain a healthy weight and lose excess body fat. Physical activity is also tied to living a longer life, as it can help lower the risk of several health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

There are many U.S. cities in which a significant share of residents get no exercise in their free time. These cities are not evenly distributed across the country — a higher than average share are in the southeastern part of the country. Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee were the three states in which adults exercised the least. In each state, more than 30% of adults get no physical activity.

The three states in which adults exercise the most are Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — all Western states. The share of sedentary adults in each of those states is much lower than the U.S. average.

Sedentary lifestyles tend to go hand in hand with a number of other key health measures. Of the 10 states where adults get the least exercise, nine also have among the top 10 obesity rate, and eight rank among the top 10 states in terms of adults reporting being in fair or poor health.

Certain socioeconomic factors correlate with how likely someone is to get enough physical activity. People with higher educational attainment, such as a college degree, are more likely to be physically active than someone with less education. People who are well educated tend to be better equipped to make smart health choices.

People living above the poverty line also tend to exercise more, as gym memberships can be costly. Also, people living in poverty may have to work more than one job to make ends meet, leaving them with less time and energy to exercise.

Exercise is just one component of physical fitness. Diet also makes a huge impact on whether someone is in shape. Working out and eating a healthy diet can help prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease and type II diabetes, according to the CDC.

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 of physical activities outside of their homes. Information on leisure time physical activity, access to exercise locations, obesity rate, and adults who report being in fair or poor health comes from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Population figures come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Sponsored: Attention Savvy Investors: Speak to 3 Financial Experts – FREE

Ever wanted an extra set of eyes on an investment you’re considering? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help guide you through the financial decisions you’re making. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free.

Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.