//Physical Inactivity

Physical Inactivity

Health Research Topics:

  • In 2012, 26.7 percent of Georgians over the age of 18 report doing no physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that a majority of adults (81.6 percent) and adolescents (81.8 percent) do not get the recommended amount of physical activity (CDC 2009). The benefits of regular physical activity are numerous. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and many forms of cancer.


  • Barrow, Clayton, Coweta, Hall, Newton, and Paulding counties have the highest percentage of physical inactivity in the metro Atlanta area. In these counties physical inactivity exceeds the Georgia state average of 26.7 percent. These counties also have higher proportions of adults without a high school diploma and lower per capita income compared to counties closer to the center (U.S Census, 2006-2010).


  • Obesity rates (BMI >=30) for adults are slightly higher in counties located on the outer area of the region but in general they still remain lower than most of Georgia’s rural counties. However, Clayton county’s adult obesity rate of 35 percent is on par with the state’s poorest and most rural counties (County Health Rankings, 2013).


  • Physical activity can help maintain proper weight, strengthen bones and muscles and have positive effects on mental health and mood. The consequences of physical inactivity are significant. Since the 1970s, we have experienced a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States — a result of complex factors, one of which includes physical inactivity. Today, approximately 1 in 3 adults (34.0 percent) and 1 in 6 children and adolescents (16.2 percent) are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.


  • In addition to grave health consequences, overweight and obesity significantly increase medical costs and pose a staggering burden on the U.S. medical care delivery system. Obesity’s economic impact is estimated to be $190 billion per year for medical costs alone.


  • Almost fifty percent of deaths each year can be attributed to behaviors and environmental exposure that are largely preventable. Tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor diet are the top root causes of these preventable deaths (McGinnis & Foege 2003).