Summit ranked the fourth most active county in Colorado |

Summit ranked the fourth most active county in Colorado

Summit County residents already know we’re a physically active population. Now, we have the data to prove it.

Colorado was just named one of the most active states in the country, with Summit County ranking fourth – out of 64 Colorado counties – on the fit list. The report was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compiled the list by looking at the percentage of physically inactive adults.

Boulder came in first, with only 10.5 percent of its community leading a sedentary life. Douglas and Eagle counties earned second and third place.

In all but four of Colorado’s counties, the number of inactive adults ranged below 21 percent of the total population.

Kit Carson, Otero, Las Animas and Prowers counties, all in the southeast part of the state, had numbers of inactive adults that ranged from 21.1 to 26 percent. Prowers County, on the Kansas border, had the highest number of inactive adults in the state, with 23.8 percent of its residents not participating in any physical activity, according to the report. The national average of inactive adults is 25.4 percent.

Other states where residents are most likely to be physically active when not at work are California, Hawaii, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, according to the CDC.

States with the highest levels of physical inactivity – which coincide with high regional rates of diagnosed diabetes and obesity – are Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The report said the rates of inactivity for those states are 29.2 percent or greater for more than 70 percent of counties.

The CDC defined physical activity as any moderate activity done for at least 10 minutes at a time, including brisk walking, bicycling, vacuuming and gardening. Vigorous activity was defined as running, aerobics, heavy yard work or other activities that increase breathing or heart rate. Respondents to a CDC survey were deemed active if they reported at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intense activity, at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination that totaled at least 150 minutes (less than three hours) per week.

Breckenridge Mayor John Warner said he wasn’t surprised Summit County was deemed one of the most physically active counties. He said the vast majority of the people in the county lead a health-centered life, and the many amenities available to the community – like bike paths and numerous trails – help keep everyone active.

“I’m kind of surprised we’re not higher,” he said.

Diane McBride, Breckenridge Recreation Center manager, said the county is filled with active people – both indoors and outdoors. She said the center’s trail running series in the summer, and its ascent series in the winter, have been able to continue because of their growing popularity.

“There’s just a variety of things which keep folks engaged and involved in what they’re doing,” she said. “It’s amazing. I think it’s great.”

Janet Urquhart from The Aspen Times contributed to this article.

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