Conservatives more likely to be couch potatoes?

posted at 7:55 pm on July 1, 2011 by Tina Korbe

This caught my attention only because the places I’ve lived mark the extreme ends of the study. According to research by Laura Roberson, Washington DC is the fourth most active city in the country, while the capitals of my home states are among the least active, with Little Rock, Ark., ranking 94th and Oklahoma City finishing 96th. A little background on the criteria for the study:

Summer is the season for kicking back and doing nothing, which means it’s always summer in Lexington, Kentucky. In fact, folks there didn’t need to lift a finger to be named America’s Most Sedentary City, since movement of any kind means you’re not a committed couch potato.

Now, we don’t doubt the Lexington work ethic—it’s the workout ethic we question. We looked at where and how often people exercise (Experian Marketing Services); the percentage of households that watch more than 15 hours of cable a week and buy more than 11 video games a year (Mediamark Research); and the rate of deaths from deep-vein thrombosis, a condition linked to a lot of sitting (CDC). And since some people define “exercise” loosely, we gave credit for any physical activity in the past month (CDC).

Might I suggest that a little less activity in DC might benefit the rest of the country? Of course, I’m not speaking about physical activity …

But, seriously, why are some of the most liberal cities at the top? (Seattle and San Francisco rank No. 1 and 2 respectively.) And why do red-staters (and Blue Dog Democrats) appear, at first glance, to be content to chill on the couch? What’s the deal here?

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Well we’re a threat to the Liberals, they’re always talking about how we are going to take to the streets after them armed with those scary old guns. Apparently before we do that, we’re going to have another piece of pie.

Snake307 on July 1, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Are you insane?

Amjean on July 1, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Nothing wrong with being a fiscally conservative couch potato…

Khun Joe on July 1, 2011 at 7:59 PM

I think of Al Franken’s book on Rush Limbaugh, where he said when Rush was out of work he just spent time lounging on his couch, receiving unemployment.

I’m conservative, and I’m somewhat couch potato-ish myself.

Paul-Cincy on July 1, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Those of us here in liberal cities aren’t content to be beer-guzzlin’, fast-food eating, NASCAR-watching fat pigs?

Vyce on July 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Conservatives more likely to be cerebral.

Speakup on July 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

P.S. I’m off to take a 2 mile stroll. So there.

Paul-Cincy on July 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

What’s the deal here?

Maybe we don’t march for communist/fascist causes enough?

Dawnsblood on July 1, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Yeah, working an 11 hour day for the 6th day out of 7 will do that to a person.

Its the same reason you don’t see conservatives protesting in the streets lime we should be!!!

KMC1 on July 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

OK city and Little Rock…..Cowboying, dancing, bowling, hunting, fishing, and jumping up and down at little league and peewee football games counts as inactivity.

Limerick on July 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

I suspect conservatives, being more mature, more fair, more courteous, less anger-filled, and generally more pleasant to live with, are more likely to have happy lives at home, and therefore to want to spend more time there.

Splunge on July 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

I miss Michelle!

Jayrae on July 1, 2011 at 8:06 PM

I don’t have time to be a couch potato.
The cows would get PO’d & the horses would run the country.

Badger40 on July 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Two thoughts, if I may:

1. Liberal/leftists tend to be less religious, thus less likely to believe in much of an afterlife. The elite of them are also likely to worship their own bodies. Combine the two, and you get people who are likely to exercise and diet so they are the “beautiful people” while they are alive, as they don’t think there’s going to be much afterlife to enjoy. Conversely, those in the Bible Belt do believe in an afterlife, and although we are taught to believe in the concept of the body being the “temple” of the Holy Spirit so we are supposed to take care of it, let me postulate reason number….

2. Church potlucks. Need I say more?

theotherone on July 1, 2011 at 8:15 PM

We’re not constantly trying to keep up with the Jones to prove our compassion / progressive creed. Plus we get enough excitement from our workaday routines that we feel the urge to do something else exciting. Pffht.

AH_C on July 1, 2011 at 8:19 PM

We’re not constantly trying to keep up with the Jones to prove our compassion / progressive creed. Plus we get enough excitement from our workaday routines that we feel the urge to do something else exciting. Pffht.

AH_C on July 1, 2011 at 8:19 PM

In a nutshell!

Badger40 on July 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Perhaps conservatives are more likely to find enjoyment in home and family? I wouldnt describe my parents as couch potatoes when I was a youth. “Mom and Dad go out on the town” nights were definitely uncommon, my parents always seemed most comfortable doing stuff at home.

Jeddite on July 1, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Boise, Idaho least active and we provide the potatoes.
Go figure.
Must be talking about legal US citizens.

Electrongod on July 1, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Conservatives more likely to be couch potatoes?

Me thinks,there are probably,alot of Conservatives in the
US Military!

I rest my case!

And with that,I’m off to the Fire-Works,(Canada Day),
and T-Minus to the Fourth…..Cheers H/A————–:)

canopfor on July 1, 2011 at 8:26 PM

My ultra Conservative wife and I are going to the Bokma ranch tomorrow for their annual 4th of July party with around 300 people; Sunday we are attending the Livingston Rodeo and having a tailgate BBQ with 40 friends and family members. Monday we are celebrating America’s birthday with a community BBQ and fireworks show… Boring I know, but somebody’s got to do it…

Keemo on July 1, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Instead of comparing physical activity let’s compare productivity.

lowandslow on July 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM


equanimous on July 1, 2011 at 8:30 PM

For San Francisco I would say that the location lends itself to activity rather than the politics of the inhabitants so I am assuming that is probably the case too in areas where couch potatoes prevail.

– The City is easy to navigate and walking is nicer and more practical for walking, and it is a residential city so most people’s daily commute involves walking. I have enjoyed walking to work here and the hills make it just taxing enough with nice views. Most Americans commute by car and that is door to door. Here walking is just easier.

– The weather (eternal spring) also makes walking and outdoor activities worthwhile and amenable through the year. That is much harder in places with blazing heat in summer and freezing winters.

– Young affluent population. Great hiking, walking, and loads of national parks/beaches and coastlines with trails all over the place and very easy to get to.

It certainly isn’t because leftists enjoy exercise more than conservatives. You can look at similar surveys in the UK to find opposite results.

I can’t explain why Seattle would beat New York except that they too have great outdoor locations on their door step.

lexhamfox on July 1, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Jeez, former Miss Teen Northwest Arkansas, way to make us feel beautiful!


Christien on July 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Red states usually equal southern states. Southern states equal hot states. Southern states near the Gulf of Mexico equal stifling hot 100 plus degree heat plus thick as fog humidity. I can walk to my mailbox and be dripping in sweat in a few seconds. So yep, the couch looks pretty good sometimes.

TxAnn56 on July 1, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Instead of comparing physical activity let’s compare productivity.

lowandslow on July 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Dept of Commerce
Released September 25, 2008

Combined Statistical Area/ Total Gross Product($150B+)
New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA $1.284 Trillion
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA $825.3 Billion
Washington-Baltimore-Hagerstown, DC-MD-VA-WV $500.0 Billion
Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI $490.9 Billion
San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA $475.5 Billion
Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-RI-NH $383.8 Billion
Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX $344.5 Billion
Dallas-Ft Worth, TX $341.5 Billion
Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD $330.0 Billion
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL $262.6 Billion
Miami-Ft Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL $248.0 Billion
Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI $233.0 Billion
Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA $217.9 Billion
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $179.4 Billion
Minneapolis-St Paul-St Cloud, MN-WI $186.7 Billion
Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO $162.3 Billion
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA $157.8 Billion

Per Capita GDP
San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA $65,804
Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX $61,038
Washington-Baltimore-Hagerstown, DC-MD-VA-WV $60,864
New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA $58,427
Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA $56,217
Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO $55,449
Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD $55,174
Dallas-Ft Worth, TX $54,771
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA $53,655
Minneapolis-St Paul-St Cloud, MN-WI $53,312
Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-RI-NH $51,864
Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-WI $50,472
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL $47,963
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA $46,430
Miami-Ft Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL $45,396
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $44,416
Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI $43,068

lexhamfox on July 1, 2011 at 8:36 PM

For San Francisco I would say that the location lends itself to activity

No, there are lots of slackers here, and activity is foreign to them.

The weather (eternal spring)

But no summer.

Emperor Norton on July 1, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Yeah, well since the welfare class tends to be Conservatives; Paid to do nothing, it is no wonder they are couch potatoes.

Oh wait.
Oh, I got it:

Since Conservatives tend to be Republicans, who are responsible for enslaving minorities, They can sit on their couches and make their slaves do all the work.

Yeah, That’s the ticket.


LegendHasIt on July 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Get moving guys. You are desperately needed to fix this nation for your kids. Stay healthy.

Happy 4th.

antisocial on July 1, 2011 at 8:42 PM

For San Francisco I would say that the location lends itself to activity

No, there are lots of slackers here, and activity is foreign to them.

The weather (eternal spring)

But no summer.

Emperor Norton on July 1, 2011 at 8:36 PM

lol… skateboarders and tweakers are at least moving around. Marching for turtles is still exercise…

lexhamfox on July 1, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Tina, perhaps you’ve forgotten the Independence Days in the South…heat and humidity. Stay in the pool or at the lake like me.

d1carter on July 1, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Conserving our energy?

Bee on July 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM

I resent the couch potato implication. I do 3 laps in the shower every morning, and my big wide bottom follows me.

Now please pass the pretzels.

kringeesmom on July 1, 2011 at 9:04 PM

I doubt these findings. Unless they measured every inhabitant’s personal life, they cannot know what the true make-up of any city is. No one has tracked how many video games I have purchased, and if they did, they would know they are all for Wii which is not a sit-down type of video system. No one has tracked how much TV my family has watched, which would be at most 2 hours a day for a family of 4. Right now I can say the TV was on for maybe 30 minutes today.
I think any city where business is big will be a city with a lot of “fit” people. But to say one city over all others is better is conjecture.
My small city was named as the fattest in a recent Gallup poll. Thing is, it was determined by people volunteering their weight and height. It was not gleaned from records kept by Dr’s offices, the Health Dept. or any other organization. I do not see any more overweight people in my fair city than I see anywhere else.
All in all it’s just more useless articles to garner attention on some issue or fact to keep some researcher or lab in business. How about we see articles on info that can be factually quantified. Like, how much debt our children will be paying off when they are grown.

chrisknits on July 1, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Any poll like this would have to be corrected for location/climate and age groupings. In the South summers are definitely more lazy that in the Northwest or Northeast, because of the climate. We commute from our A/C workplace in our A/C cars to our A/C homes.

People also tend to retire and move to the South, so I suspect that also tilts the South to a more sedentary lifestyle.

slickwillie2001 on July 1, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Let’s compare constructive activity.

Conservatives work and rest.

Liberals complain and protest.

BuckeyeSam on July 1, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Conservatives are not couch potatoes, rednecks are. Unfortunately, most rednecks are on this side of the aisle.

keep the change on July 1, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I don’t really get around to being a couch potato. At 18 I hit the Army. Since then, I’m hitting the gym, 6 days out of the week with a tightly controlled diet. I bounced (and occasionally still do) in Downtown Detroit underground clubs. Bouncing, or not, I can dance anywhere from 3 – 4 hours, nonstop (depending on how good the music is). I did wing chun kung fu, and now I’m retaking it, and looking for either a chin-na instructor, or a pankration instructor. After losing my liberal girlfriend, I’m chasing after/being chased by 3 – 4 strippers. I’m writing books and reading. I work an average of 59 – 60 hours/week, because I like overtime. I’m preparing to go back to school for a Ph.D., and currently in school learning Japanese, while considering re-learning German. I don’t think I qualify as a couch potato, but I don’t know too many other Conservatives, so it’s fully possible they’re fairly physically inactive.

Virus-X on July 1, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Guess I’ll have to do a long run and exhale enough CO2 to make up for a few of my fellow conservative couch potatoes.

chemman on July 1, 2011 at 9:36 PM

There’s 2K facebook “thumbs up” for that article, 355 “tweets”, and zero comment.

What does that mean?
My interpretation – the headline was all that was needed for the lib online head shrinkers to twit their brethren, who in turn lapped it up like starving kittens.
BUUUUUUUUUUUT – they were late for aerobic class and don’t really give a $h|t about mens health generally, enough to bother registering for comment.

Experian 475 Anton Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA 92626 – did the exercise, workout, gym membership, bit of the study.

Mediamark 6300 Wilshire Blvd. Twenty-Second Floor. Los Angeles, CA 90048 – did the video game and cable bit.

CDC 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341 – did the thrombosis death rate bit.

What a shock – what a trend jumper – that Atlanta is in the TOP TEN! meh

papertiger on July 1, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I know, at least for myself, counting transit time, I do 12-13 hour work days. Outside of doing a couple miles a day of walking, it is tough to find a lot of time for working out. Usually just get home, wind down, and crash before starting again the next day.

coyoterex on July 1, 2011 at 9:40 PM

I would work out 6-7 days a week if I could. Unlike my uncle’s gym in CA or my in-laws in FL, our gyms aren’t open until midnight. They close at 8-10pm depending on the day. When things are crazy at the office – you know, the place I run my business and keep Americans employed – I get home 7ish at best. If I walk in, dump my briefcase, kiss my wife on the cheek and get back in the car and go to the gym, I’m often rushing to shower and get out before they close and my wife is dozing on the couch when I get home. By then I have worked 10-12 hours, done a full workout and haven’t had anything to eat since the snack for lunch around noon while working at my desk. I’m hungry and tired and have an unhappy wife.

Of course if I were a typical narcissistic liberal, I wouldn’t care how my wife, family or friends felt as long as I was happy and fulfilling my own needs…

deepdiver on July 1, 2011 at 10:09 PM

does air guitar count as exercise?

Keeping out of trouble with eyes in the back of my face
Kicking ass in the class and they tell me “You’re a damn disgrace!”
They tell me what they think but they stink and I really don’t care
Got a mind of my own, move on, get out of my hair

Shake a leg, shake your head
Shake a leg, wake the dead
Shake a leg, get stuck in
Shake a leg, rock to win
Shake a leg, shake a leg
Shake a leg, shake a leg. Shake it.

papertiger on July 1, 2011 at 10:10 PM

I have noticed the same thing however.

I live in Boise, and in the outdoor activities that I am involved in (biking, running, hiking, camping) or even outdoor type groups that clean up outdoors or emjoy wilderness, there is a definitely lack of conservatives in those groups.

firepilot on July 2, 2011 at 3:41 AM

Conservatives more likely to be couch potatoes?

Well, maybe after my wife and kids get back from competing in a horse show today. Oh, and after I get through cleaning the deep end of the pool (you know, fourth of July and all that).

And honestly, I can’t wait ’til I can melt into my Lazy-boy this evening. Good times.

America Rocks! (still)

Squiggy on July 2, 2011 at 6:58 AM

Going out on a limb and suggesting the average age of liberals is much lower… so it makes sense that older people – conservatives – work more hours and are less likely to have as much leisure time to go kayaking or protest Walmart.

spec_ops_mateo on July 2, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Yeah well, we Read books on that comfy couch.

dogsoldier on July 2, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Liberals are totally obssessed with the ‘image’ of themselves they project to others, and since they don’t think themselves, others’ opionions are most ‘valued’ to them.

More mature people (who tend to be more conservative) are confident, more in tuned with their sense of self. And you don’t need to clock time spent in gyms in leotards to be physically fit.

Sir Napsalot on July 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM

This is an easy one for me. I live in Eastern Washington state, which is very conservative. My best friend lives in Seattle, which is on the west side of the mountains and is very liberal. Here’s the reason: where I live, the majority of people are overweight or obese. When you are walking around town it can take several minutes to spot someone who’s not fat. West of the mountains, you have to look for quite awhile to find someone who’s fat. It’s been this way for at least the last 20 years.

Haldol on July 2, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Where’d you get that picture of me?! I’ve been hacked!!!

Do I have to resign from congress now?!

Akzed on July 2, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I suspect conservatives, being more mature, more fair, more courteous, less anger-filled, and generally more pleasant to live with, are more likely to have happy lives at home, and therefore to want to spend more time there.

I would agree, especially “more mature” most conservative have lived longer that younger, hot headed liberals.

E9RET on July 2, 2011 at 11:39 AM

It’s easy to be outdoorsy when you’re on welfare and a liberal.

Hard to be active after working 60 hour weeks and a conservative.

angryed on July 2, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Whenever I read any list of TOP 100 CITIES TO LIVE IN or some such, the list is always geared towards “activities”. And the top cities are always the ones that have lots of mountain biking trails and hiking trails nearby. Which is all fine and good. But these lists almost always ignore trivial things like oh I dunno, jobs, taxes, crime. It seems as if a city has good hiking and mountain biking everything else is irrelevant.

angryed on July 2, 2011 at 12:10 PM

1. Walkable cities.

2. Weather.

3. Wealth.

4. Definition of “exercise.”

5. Self-reporting.

I suspect the findings here are an exaggerated but not entirely false picture of reality. If you’re from the professional middle class in Oklahoma or Kentucky, you and most people you know have a commitment to “exercise,” if exercise is defined as “making a conscious choice to work out muscles or raise heart rate, for a specific period of time, with physical activity.”

But the weather is awful for exercise — hot and humid or cold and icy/snowy/slushy — six months out of the year. You don’t literally have to walk to perform your daily activities, and when it’s below 40 or above 90, why would you?

You can also live a middle-class lifestyle in flyover country without being a metrosexual professional. This is a big point, frankly. Cities like Seattle and San Francisco — the cities, proper, not them and all their suburbs considered together — have become enclaves for which there is a steep entry price, if you’re going to be paying your way. There simply aren’t vast tracts of detached-home-owning, middle-class householders in those cities who are NOT from the professional elite. Urban planning and local regulation suppress that demographic to almost nothing in those cities.

But Oklahoma City is mostly populated by that demographic, as are most of the cities from 50 to 100. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it being possible, in big swathes of America, for people to live a good life without having cultivated the somewhat self-congratulatory lifestyle of the coastal urbanite.

In fact, I’m thrilled that there are places where people can do that. America’s strength has always been in precisely this freedom: to thrive on your own terms and merits, and not be egded into non-viability — with low to no employment prospects, sequestered in public housing, on welfare — by other people’s policies. If liberals are so worried that they’ll have to pay for medical care for a non-exercising demographic, there’s always the option of — imagine this — decollectivizing medical care. Scary and unthinkable, I know. But it’s not like it isn’t an option.

J.E. Dyer on July 2, 2011 at 12:16 PM

What a CROCK!!!

Harvard: July 4th [Independence Day] Parades Are Right-Wing

These lousy 0bamaGandists just cannot make up their minds today. ;o)

DannoJyd on July 2, 2011 at 1:43 PM