The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released their annual report on the physical activity of adults in the country, and the report paints a dismal picture. Barely half of the country manages to achieve the recommended 150-mintues of aerobic activity per week, while over a quarter reported no physical activity at all.
Even amongst this dismal snapshot, however, there are stand-out states. While the percentages of the adult population reporting no physical activity in most states hovers around national average — Pennsylvania reports 26.4%, New York reports 26.3% — the most sluggish, laziest, and unhealthiest states are all located in the South, and all of them are Republican strongholds:
1. Mississippi 36.0 %
2. Tennessee 35.1 %
3. West Virginia 35.1 %
4. Louisiana 33.8 %
5. Alabama 32.6 %
6. Oklahoma 31.2 %
7. Arkansas 30.9 %
8. Kentucky 29.3 %
9. Indiana 29.2 %
10. Missouri 28.4 %
Putting that “Protestant Work Ethic” into keeping up their health, I see.
Sardonic humor aside, these figures should surprise exactly nobody. It’s well known that the South is the perfect confluence of poor health, poor education, poor eating, and poor voting habits. They have the highest teenage pregnancy rates, they consume more welfare than other states.
Unemployment, grinding poverty, stress, and poor environmental conditions take a toll not just on the body but the mind, as well. So this is little more than icing on the nastiest cake imaginable; a snapshot of yet more failed Republican policies, right there in the Republican “heart”land.
And every one of these states has had their healthcare, available through the marketplace and subsidized by the federal government, called into question (maybe). It’s not enough that they’re under so much stress and working so hard they don’t have time to take care of themselves. Soon, they may find themselves stripped of the healthcare that they especially need, given their sluggish, stress-filled “existence.”
There are ways to fix the problem: ditching the stupid libertarian notion that a person should have to “prove their worth” in order to survive alone will benefit countless people. If a person is working, they should not be forced to live on the edge.
Making food, water, clothing, and shelter human rights, just like abstract things like “freedom of speech” would go a long way too (someone can starve and die on the street, but at least they had freedom of speech. So yay?). They can’t cook freedom; they can’t eat speech. These rights mean nothing to someone just barely living on the edge.
Of course, the people in the South would vote against any such measure to help them, proving, once again, that they’re their own worst enemy.