Physical Activity, Chronic Conditions, and Disabilities Across the US Population: Comprehensive Assessment of Current Patterns and Two-Decade Time Trends

  • Katerina IvanovEmail author


This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of physical activity levels, prevalence of chronic conditions, and disabilities in the United States. First, employing the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data set, the paper identifies current patterns and two-decade time trends related to chronic conditions, self-perception of health status, healthcare coverage, disabilities, and a variety of socioeconomic characteristics of respondents who have participated in exercises during the past month. There is 5% increase in physical activity rates among US population from 1996 to 2006 followed by stable rates around 76% over the past decade. Rates of physically active population with some forms of disabilities are subject to little variations, while chronic conditions exhibit a steady growth over observed years. Considerably higher numbers of physically active respondents have health coverage in 2016 compared to 1996. Second, applying the multinomial logistic regression assessment, I test empirically the impact of physical activities on coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes for population who are limited or disabled because of the physical and/or mental and/or emotional problems. Overall, more frequent exercise activities are associated with decline in the prevalence of coronary heart disease and diabetes for people with disabilities. As baby boomers become eligible for Medicare, providing care for people with chronic conditions and disabilities becomes one of the dominant questions for regulators, academic research, and surrounding public dialogue.



American Community Survey


Americans with Disabilities Act


Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pfeiffer UniversityCharlotteUSA

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