Health >> Physical Activity >> Adults >> Adult Physical Activity

Throughout King County, a large majority of adults do not get sufficient physical activity.

Physical inactivity results in higher public and private health care costs, contributes to obesity and carries a higher risk of serious chronic disease. From 2011 to 2015, over three in four adults (77%) did not meet the recommendations for physical activity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Region and city/neighborhood: Lack of enough physical activity was a problem throughout the county. Over 4 in 5 South Region adults (82%) were not sufficiently active. Though rates in East Region (76%), North Region (75%) and Seattle (75%) were lower, physical activity in these areas did not meet CDC guidelines in 3 out of 4 adults. 3 of the 4 city/neighborhoods with elevated rates of physical inactivity were in South Region: North Highline (94%), East Federal Way (89%) and Burien (88%). But even though Queen Anne/Magnolia was the only neighborhood with lower-than-average rates, two-thirds of adults there (66%) still were not active enough.
  • Income: Even though a majority (74%) of highest-income households earning $75,000 or more were not sufficiently active, they were more likely than those with incomes less than $35,000 to be active enough.  
  • Differences in opportunities for physical activity, leisure time and environmental factors such as access to safe and affordable exercise and recreation are likely causes of many of these income and regional differences.

SOURCE: Behavioral Risk Factor and Surveillance System (BRFSS) (2011-2015)

Numerator: Respondents when asked about their physical activity and exercise habits in the past month, had done an average of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week and muscle strengthening on 2 or more days a week that worked all major muscle groups.

Denominator: All those who answered the question.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System collects information on the health and safety of Washington residents aged 18 and older. Every year, the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conduct the survey primarily through telephone interviews, including landline and cellphone numbers. To learn more about the survey, please go to