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September 11, 1996

State-Specific Prevalence of Participation in Physical Activity—1994

JAMA. 1996;276(10):775. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540100019009

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PARTICIPATION in physical activity on a regular basis provides important health benefits, including reduced risk for heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Regular physical activity also helps control weight; contributes to development and maintenance of healthy bones, muscles, and joints; and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.1 Recent recommendations have emphasized moderate intensity activities nearly every day for those who are unable to maintain the previously recommended program of strenuous activity three times a week.2 To determine the proportion of adults who are participating in regular physical activity, regardless of the level of intensity, CDC analyzed data from the 1994 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicates that, in every state surveyed, most adults are not participating in regular physical activity.

The BRFSS is a population-based, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of the