We've seen recently about how there's a wide difference in life expectancy among the states--with residents of Minnesota (1st place) living almost seven years longer than people in Mississippi (last place).

And we've also seen Harvard research on how adding five simple habits your life can extend your life expectancy significantly. One of those habits is simply getting enough exercise.

Now, a separate CDC study shows how much the individual states vary in this important habit. And by digging a bit below the surface, we can compile a ranking of how often working people in each state are able to set aside enough time and effort for healthy exercise.

Specifically, as the CDC puts it, how many of each state's workers "met the 2008 federal guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities during leisure-time physical activity." Those guidelines, according to a summary:

  1. At least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity,
  2. Alternatively, 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity, and
  3. "Muscle-strengthening activities 2 or more days per week."

The CDC numbers examine the data by male and female residents, and again by working and non working people. We compiled our ranking therefore, below based on an "average of averages" between men and women.

So here are the 50 states (plus D.C.) ranked in order of how healthy their workers' exercise habits are. How far ahead or behind your fellow state residents are you at work? 

(Spoiler alert: Sorry again, Mississippi.)

1.          Colorado

This was the healthiest state, with a combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals of 34.2%. The breakdown was 34.8% for men, and 33.6% for women.

2.          Vermont

Another green, outdoorsy state came in second. The combined average percentage was 33.5%. For men: 40.2%; women: 26.8%.

3.          District of Columbia

Having lived in DC, I can attest it's a healthier place than outsiders might imagine. Combined average percentage: 32.25%. The breakdown was 40.5% for men; 24% for women.

4.          Idaho

Not really a surprise that it ranked so high. The combined average percentage was 31.75%. For men, 36.5%; for women, 27%.

5.          Massachusetts

Combined average percentage: 31.45%. For men, 34.1%; for women: 28.8%.

6.          New Hampshire

The current state from which I'm writing this came in at 31.4% across genders, with 30.7% for men and 32.1% for women.

7.          Washington

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals:        31.35%. (Men came in at 33%; women were at 29.7%.)

8.          Wyoming

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals:        30.55%. (Men came in at   31.2%; women were at 29.9%.)

9.          Rhode Island

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 29.2%. (Men came in at 32%. Women were at    26.4%.)

10.       Arizona

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 29%. (Men came in at 31.3%. Women were at 26.7%.)

11.       Oregon

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 28.75%. (Men came in at 30.9%. Women were at 26.6%.)

12.       Minnesota

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 28.65%. (Men came in at 30.5%. Women were at 26.8%.)

13.       Utah

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 28.6%. (Men came in at 30.7%. Women were at 26.5%.)

14.       Alaska

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 28%. (Men came in at 31.6%. Women were at 24.4%.)

15.       Maine

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 27.85%. (Men came in at 32.4%. Women were at 23.3%.)

16.       Pennsylvania

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 27.5%. (Men came in at 31.6%. Women were at 23.4%.)

17.       Illinois

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 26.95%. (Men came in at 29.9%. Women were at 24%.)

18.       Connecticut

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 26.9%. (Men came in at 29%. Women were at    24.8%.)

19.       Virginia

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 26.65%. (Men came in at 32.8%. Women were at 20.5%.)

20.       Hawaii

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 26.25%. (Men came in at 32.8%. Women were at 19.7%.)

21.       Ohio

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 26.2%. (Men came in at 31%. Women were at    21.4%.)

22.       Michigan

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 26.2%. (Men came in at 30.5%. Women were at 21.9%.)

23.       California

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 25.7%. (Men came in at 29.9%. Women were at 21.5%.)

24.       New Mexico

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 25.5%. (Men came in at 29.4%. Women were at 21.6%.)

25.       Wisconsin

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 25.45%. (Men came in at 27.6%. Women were at 23.3%.)

26.       Missouri

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 25.05%. (Men came in at 31.9%. Women were at 18.2%.)

27.       Texas

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 25.05%. (Men came in at 28.7%. Women were at 21.4%.)

28.       Kansas

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 25%. (Men came in at 26.2%. Women were at 23.8%.)

29.       Montana

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 24.8%. (Men came in at 24.5%. Women were at 25.1%.)

30.       Maryland

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 24.05%. (Men came in at 29.8%. Women were at 18.3%.)

31.       Nevada

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 23.9%. (Men came in at 25.4%. Women were at 22.4%.)

32.       Nebraska

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 23.8%. (Men came in at 25.3%. Women were at 22.3%.)

33.       North Carolina

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 23.8%. (Men came in at 27.8%. Women were at 19.8%.)

34.       Louisiana

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 22.75%. (Men came in at 25.5%. Women were at 20%.)

35.       Georgia

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 22.55%. (Men came in at 29.9%. Women were at 15.2%.)

36.       Florida

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 22.5%. (Men came in at 27.7%. Women were at 17.3%.)

37.       Iowa

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 22.25%. (Men came in at 23.6%. Women were at 20.9%.)

38.       New Jersey

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 21.95%. (Men came in at 27%. Women were at    16.9%.)

39.       New York

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 21.45%. (Men came in at 25.3%. Women were at 17.6%.)

40.       North Dakota

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 21.2%. (Men came in at 22.1%. Women were at 20.3%.)

41.       Delaware

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 20.45%. (Men came in at 23.6%. Women were at 17.3%.)

42.       Alabama

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 20.4%. (Men came in at 25.6%. Women were at 15.2%.)

43.       West Virginia

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 20.1%. (Men came in at 21.5%. Women were at 18.7%.)

44.       Oklahoma

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 19.45%. (Men came in at 24.1%. Women were at 14.8%.)

45.       Tennessee

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 18.9%. (Men came in at 22.8%. Women were at 15%.)

46.       Kentucky

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 18.15%. (Men came in at 21.7%. Women were at 14.6%.)

47.       Arkansas

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 17.25%. (Men came in at 21.4%. Women were at 13.1%.)

48.       South Dakota

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 17.2%. (Men came in at 17.5%. Women were at 16.9%.)

49.       Indiana

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 17.15%. (Men came in at 21.8%. Women were at 12.5%.)

50.       South Carolina

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 16.95%. (Men came in at 21.9%. Women were at 12%.)

51.       Mississippi

Combined average percentage of workers who achieved federal exercise goals: 15.15%. (Men came in at 19.8%. Women were at 10.5%.)

Published on: Jul 2, 2018