CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Walking can be one of the easiest and most relaxing ways to incorporate exercise into day-to-day life. But how much are people really enjoying this easy form of self-care?
One in three West Virginians would rather drive than walk to a destination that is only five minutes away.
One in three might make you think, “wow, West Virginians are lazy!” But actually, they’re average for the U.S. A study by Barbend revealed that 32% of Americans would prefer to drive instead of walk compared to 31% of West Virginians, making West Virginia just slightly less lazy than your average American.
Two states reported that over half their population would drive to a destination barely further than across the street; 63% North Dakotans and 52% South Carolinians said they would drive instead of walk.
The states that would walk the most are Vermont at 13%, New Jersey at 17% and New Hampshire at 18%.
Even though almost a third of surveyed Americans said they would drive, 41% also revealed that they don’t think they walk enough each day. However, the study did not reveal if those who selected driving over walking were among those who don’t think they walk enough.
Several factors may influence whether people would rather drive than walk five minutes. Temperature is a major factor; Barbend revealed that 60% of Americans would choose to drive if the temperature was below freezing, and only 8% said they would drive if it was warmer than 59 degrees (Fahrenheit). When taking temperature into account, it makes sense that a colder state like North Dakota would record the highest likeness to drive. People also walk faster when it’s warmer which might influence the decision.
While the cold may influence Americans’ choice to walk or drive, winter and cold temperatures might not be an adequate excuse. The study also revealed that 31% of Americans would take an escalator rather than a short flight of stairs.
All of the study’s results were based on a Barbend study of 3,394 Americans. For the full survey results and methodology, click here.