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Important Facts for Physical Activity - Adult Prevalence


Among adults, physical activity recommendations include 30 minutes of moderate intensity activities 5 or more days of the week OR 20 minutes of vigorous intensity activities 3 or more days of the week.


Number of adults meeting physical activity recommendations from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System


Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Data Interpretation Issues

These data are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (landline only from 1986 through 2010; landline and cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters.

Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond.

The "missing" and "don?t know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage. When the data shown are about a specific sub-population, only respondents of that sub-population are included in the denominator.

Why Is This Important?

Physical activity among adults has numerous benefits, including: reducing risk of heart disease and stroke, improving physical fitness, bone health and mental health, preventing high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, prediabetes and diabetes, maintaining health weight and increasing mobility. Among older adults, physical activity in crucial in preventing falls.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of adults who engage in no leisure-time physical activity

U.S. Target: 32.6 percent

How Are We Doing?

Since 2001, the percentage of adults in New Mexico who meet physical activity recommendations has remained static, which is similar to the trend in the US.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Compared to the US, a higher percentage of New Mexico adults report meeting physical activity recommendations.

Evidence-based Practices

To increase physical activity using informational approaches, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommends community-wide campaigns and point-of-decision prompts. To increase physical activity using behavioral or social approaches, the Task Force recommends school-based physical education, individually-adapted health behavior change programs, and social support interventions in community settings. To increase physical activity using environmental or policy approaches, the Task Force recommends creation of or enhanced access to places for physical activity combined with informational outreach activities, and point-of-decision prompts. For more information, please see the Guide to Community Preventive SErvices: Waht Works to Promote Health? Chapter 2, Physical Activity,
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Mon, 30 March 2015 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:10:48 MST