HealthDay News — More than 15% of American adults are physically inactive, according to a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

Today, the agency unveiled new estimates of physical inactivity across states and US territories. The new maps are based on 2015 to 2018 data from an ongoing telephone survey conducted by the CDC and state health departments. The CDC defined inactivity as doing no leisure-time physical activities in the previous month — such as running, walking for exercise, or gardening.

Estimates of physical inactivity ranged from 17.3% in Colorado to 47.7% in Puerto Rico. Rates in 7 states and 2 territories (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and Guam) were 30% or higher. Southern states had the highest rate of inactivity (28%), followed by the Northeast (25.6%), Midwest (25%), and the West (20.5%).

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The maps point to racial and ethnic differences in activity levels as well. Hispanics had the highest rate of inactivity (31.7%), followed by blacks (30.3%) and whites (23.4%). Rates were 30% or more among whites in 5 states and Puerto Rico, among Hispanics in 22 states and Puerto Rico, and among blacks in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

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Inactivity contributes to 1 in 10 premature deaths in the United States and is associated with $117 billion in annual health care costs, according to the CDC.

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