Couch potatoes cost West Virginians millions every year, West Virginia University School of Medicine professor George Kelley concluded in 2009.

 He examined medical costs, workers compensation payouts and lost productivity figures, then compared them with federal Centers for Disease Control figures of inactive West Virginians.

 Kelley calculated that, for each 1 percent of West Virginia adults who do not exercise, compared to those who do, there is an extra $4 million in medical bills, plus another $17 million lost in worker productivity.

 Part of the medical bills are paid by insurance companies, part by the state, some by individuals.

 In West Virginia, 1 percent of adults is about 14,100 people. The CDC defines an active person as one who exercises moderately (walking, etc.) for 30 minutes at least three times a week.

 

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