A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says Johnson and Scott County residents are the most active in the state. Iowa Department of Public Health Physical Activity Coordinator, Sarah Taylor Watts, says the report is based on state data for things such as walking, gardening, golfing and running.
Watts says each state annually collects the data through phone calls to residents and they ask a variety of health questions, including questions about their physical activity. Watts says over 81% of the adults in Johnson County reported spending their leisure time by exercising and doing physical activity, while 79% did the same in Scott County. Watts says the other counties weren’t far away.
She says Woodbury,Crawford, Kossuth, Webster, Tama, Clayton and Clinton were the lowest counties, but she says they “weren’t that terribly low.” Nationwide 74.6% of the adults reported doing some type of physical activity. Watts says Iowa was right in the middle when compared to other states.
Watts says no Iowa counties fell below 70% for activity, while there were some southern states that had most of their counties in the lower tier. Watts says the health department hopes the information can help all counties improve. She says it would be nice to take lessons learned from counties that are more successful.
Watts says both Johnson and Scott County have “complete streets” policies which makes sure the road is for all users including bicyclists and pedestrians. Watts says physical activity can help control weight, reduce the risk of type two diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, strengthen bones and muscles, and improves mental health.
To see county-level estimates of leisure-time physical activity go to: www.cdc.gov.