Couch-Potato Paradises: The Most Inactive Cities In America

Couch-Potato Paradises: The Most Inactive Cities in America

It's no secret to anyone that people in the U.S. are among the fattest people in the world. More than one-third (36.5 percent) of U.S. adults have obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Certain places are more responsible than others for tipping the scale in favor of bad health. To identify them, WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated metro areas in the country across 18 key indicators of weight-related problems.

20. Lafayette, LA

Believe it or not, Lafayette's ranking for sitting too much is its best.  The city is 13th when it comes to people who are obese or overweight, and 14th in the "health consequences" category, which takes into consideration heart disease rate and obesity-related death rate.

19. Huntsville, AL

Even though Huntsville is not doing well in terms of residents staying physically active or, even worse, eating healthy foods (the city is No. 8 in obesity), Huntsville has the best score in the "health consequences" category.  

18. Tulsa, OK

In addition to scoring high in the inactivity category, Tulsa ranked poorly in the number of obese and overweight people – 18 out of 100. Did you know that Tulsa has one of the best and safest drinking water in America?

17. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City has been among the least fit cities in the country at least for years. Even though there are a fair number of parks and farmer's markets, people don't seem to be taking advantage of them – 32.1 percent of the people in the county are obese.

16. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO

Fayetteville is a small metro area but it's rapidly growing. Its location in the Ozark Mountains attracts outdoorsy people, albeit, not that many, who love the many state parks, playgrounds, parks and walking trails.

15. Knoxville, TN

Knoxville is a hidden gem, a city you may want to consider moving to before it gets too popular. The city was also named by Trip Advisor as one of the Top 10 Destinations on the Rise. But don't go with the flow – it's No. 2 in the "obesity and overweight" category, which takes into account the number of obese adults, teens, children and projected obesity rated by 2030.

14. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC

This awesome off the beaten path city in the country is snuggled into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With so many mountain hills to explore it's surprising that people are not more physically active.

13. Toledo, OH

Toledo has been ranked among the worst cities for keeping an active lifestyle. The 100 biggest U.S. cities were compared across 34 key metrics. The data set ranged from average monthly fitness-club fee to bike score to share of physically inactive adults.

12. El Paso, TX

The El Paso metro area has the highest share of diabetic adults, 15.6 percent, which is 2.6 times higher than in Denver the metro area with the lowest at 6 percent.

11. Baton Rouge, LA

People in Baton Rouge don't eat fruits or vegetables very often, which contributes to its ranking of being among the fattest cities in the U.S. Its worst ranking – 10th – is in the "health consequences" category. On a brighter notes, Baton Rouge is among the most pet-friendly cities in the country.

10. Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga, one of the most underrated cities in the country, would "pay" people to move there by offering 10-gigabit-per-second fiber internet service. But perhaps people are working too much leaving no time for exercise? The city is No. 2 in highest percentage of inactive adults, No. 4 in highest percentage of diabetic adults, and No. 5 in highest percentage of people with high blood pressure.

9. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC

Augusta is also on the list of the worst cities for keeping New Year's resolutions. Since it is almost always getting in shape and losing weight, the area's ranking among the most inactive is not all that surprising.

8. Wichita, KS

Living an inactive lifestyle always takes a toll – Wichita has the fourth highest percentage of obese adults, according to the study. The city's overall food and fitness rank is 8, 1 being the worst.

7. Shreveport, LA

It's not just being inactive; it's also in the diet. Shreveport-Bossier City has the second highest percentage of adults with high blood pressure, the third highest percentage of adults with high cholesterol, and the third highest number of obese adults. 

6. Columbia, SC

This is a modern city and a creative hub that's fed by university (among the fittest in the country) and capital city communities surrounded by natural beauty. Everything is within walking distance in this charming small town, so why are people so inactive?

5. Birmingham-Hoover, AL

Birmingham is one of the most stressed cities in America. May be that has something to do with people also leading an inactive lifestyle? It's no secret that encountering a lot of stress can take a toll on one's health.

4. McAllen, TX

The McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission region in Texas has the highest percentage of obese adults in the country. The area also holds the highest spot in the category of people not being sitting too much during the day. It "drops" to No. 2 in the "adults with diabetes" category.

3. Jackson, MS

Jackson is so high on the list because of too many people with high blood pressure – fourth highest percentage – and also because too few people consume fruits and vegetables regularly. Jackson is also among the cities that are the worst for people with spring allergies.

2. Memphis, TN

What makes Memphis the fourth fattest city in America is food and fitness ranking – the second worst overall. The city is third when it comes to percentage of adults with high blood pressure. Memphis is also on our list of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians.

1. Little Rock, AR

Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway is the area with the fifth highest number of physically inactive adults and percentage of diabetic adults. It's No. 1 when it comes to the highest percentage of adults eating fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of the best spring superfoods.