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The Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area is the fittest in the nation in 2013 according to the latest survey from the American College of Sports Medicine.
The region topped the group’s American Fitness Index, which ranks the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas for both fitness and health of their populations along with access to fitness and outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Washington, D.C. area came in second, followed by Portland, Ore., San Francisco, and Denver to round out the top five. At the bottom of the list sat Oklahoma City, Detroit, San Antonio, Louisville, Ky. and Memphis, Tenn., although officials noted that a few of these lower-ranked cities had made positive strides to improve health and fitness in their communities. See the full list below.
With support and funding from the WellPoint Foundation, ACSM launched the Fitness Index in 2008 to help communities identify opportunities to improve the health of their residents and expand community assets to better support active, healthy lifestyles. The list reflects a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access, as well as community resources and policies that support physical activity.
For example, a region scores points for having a low death rate from diabetes, more park units per capita, and a greater percentage of its population riding their bikes or walking to work.
Fitness and outdoor specialty retailers can either boast and build upon their communities’ high rankings or use low rankings to call for increased coordinated efforts to boost fitness, health and activity in their hometown.
“This data-driven report can be a powerful tool for driving change in the health and wellness of U.S. cities,” noted Wellpoint Foundation Clinical Health Policy and Chief Medical Officer Sam Nussbaum.
Here are the rankings and check out the ACSM website for more details on how each area scored:
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
3. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
4. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
5. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
6. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
7. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA
8. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
9. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
10. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
11. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
12. Salt Lake City, UT
13. Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
14. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
15. Raleigh-Cary, NC
16. Pittsburgh, PA
17. Baltimore-Towson, MD
18. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
19. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH
20. Richmond, VA
21. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
22. Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA
23. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY
24. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
25. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
26. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
27. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI
28. Kansas City, MO-KS
29. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
30. Columbus, OH
31. Saint Louis, MO-IL
32. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
33. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
34. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
35. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
36. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC
37. Jacksonville, FL
38. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
39. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
40. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
41. Birmingham-Hoover, AL
42. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
43. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
44. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
45. Indianapolis-Carmel, IN
46. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
47. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
48. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
49. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
50. Oklahoma City, OK