Every year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) ranks the 50 healthiest cities and fittest metropolitan areas in the United States, using the American Fitness Index (AFI) and the top ranked city in the United States for healthy living is now St. Paul, Minneapolis.
In addition to a low smoking rate by residents of St. Paul, moderate-to-low rates of chronic health problems such as obesity, asthma, heart disease and diabetes also factored into the city’s high score (77.2 out of 100 possible points).
In addition, St. Paul’s percentage of park land is above average and so is the number of recreational facilities within the city. Trailing behind Minneapolis-St. Paul to round out the AFI’s top five healthiest cities 2010 are:
- Washington D.C., with a score of 76.8
- Boston, with a score of 69.1
- Portland, Ore., with a score of 67.7
- Denver, with a score of 67.6
The cities on the bottom of the index included, Memphis, Tenn., Louisville, Ken. and Oklahoma. They received scores of 32.9, 29 and 24.6.
“The scores and rankings from the report indicate which metro areas are fit, and which ones are less fit,” Walter Thompson, chair of the AFI advisory board, said in an ACSM news release. “Although Minneapolis ranked first, there is room for improvement. At the same time, even the lowest-ranked areas have healthy residents and community resources supporting health and fitness.”
Walter Thompson, chair of the AFI advisory board, said in an ACSM news release that report should serve as either a needed wake-up call or a source of positive re-enforcement for city leaders.
“A regular, scientific evaluation of the infrastructure, community assets, policies and opportunities which encourage healthy and fit lifestyles is imperative for cities wishing to provide a high quality of life for residents,” Thompson said. “Community health leaders and advocates in each metro area can use the AFI data report to easily identify their strengths and areas of opportunity.”
“There are no quick fixes when it comes to improving the health of an entire metro area,” Dr. Wesley Wong, a member of the AFI advisory board, said in the news release.
To see the entire list of the healthiest cities 2010 and to find out where your city ranks, click here.