Report: Illinoisans exercise slightly more than the average American

SPRINGFIELD – (Illinois News Network) – A new report shows adults in Illinois exercise slightly more than the average American. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 22.9 percent of adults nationwide got enough exercise. The rate is 24.8 percent in Illinois.

Melanie Arnold with the Illinois Department of Public Health said some experts blame busy schedules and technology for inactivity.

“There are some who feel that social media is one of the things that people are on their phones and have more electronic activities than they used to,” she said.

The state has taken steps to promote more physical activity, Arnold said.

“Some of the things that Illinois has done is adopted Complete Streets policies which means creating specific areas for people to bike or walk and they’re a little bit safer,” she said.

States in the West and the Rocky Mountains had higher rates of exercise with lower numbers in the Southeastern United States.

A lack of exercise is a huge public health issue, Arnold said.

“Physical inactivity contributes to about one in ten premature deaths,” she said. “It’s also associated with $117 billion in annual healthcare costs in the United States.”

Which is why Illinois has initiatives to promote physical activity among adults and children, Arnold said.

“People who are physically active generally live longer, they have a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers which can definitely help reduce those health care costs,” she said.

Federal guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week plus two or more days of muscle-strengthening activity. The CDC reports show that most of the adults nationwide who met the exercise guidelines did so through physical activity during leisure time as opposed to activity performed at work. The report also shows that 25.1 percent of adults in Illinois reported no physical activity. That compares with 25.4 percent nationwide.