Arlington, Va. Is #1 ‘Fittest City’

Share Button
Submitted by The American College of Sports Medicine….

didyouknow?2019 American Fitness Index Ranks 100 Cities;
New Indicators Reveal Concerns About Pedestrian Safety and Air Quality

Indianapolis (May 14, 2019) – Arlington, Va. has earned the title of “America’s Fittest City” in the annual American Fitness Index® ranking published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc.

The ACSM/Anthem Fitness Index evaluated America’s 100 largest cities using 33 health behaviors, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators. Rounding out the top 10 cities were Seattle, Wash.; Minneapolis, Minn.; San Francisco, Calif.; Madison, Wis.; Washington, D.C.; St. Paul, Minn.; Irvine, Calif. (new to the top 10); Denver, Colo.; and Portland, Ore. You can access the full rankings and scores, summary report, city comparison tool and other insights on the American Fitness Index website.

Setting the standard for other cities, Arlington’s balance of healthy behaviors and community infrastructure earned it the #1 overall rank. Arlington ranked in the top 10 for 22 of the 33 indicators in the ACSM/Anthem Fitness Index, with six indicators ranked #1, including residents exercising in the last month; meeting aerobic and strength activity guidelines; reporting good or excellent health; and having low rates of smoking, poor physical health and pedestrian fatalities. You can compare your city to Arlington or others ranked in the Index by accessing the online City Comparison Tool.

“Our research-backed Fitness Index rankings reveal both personal health habits within a community and how well those communities encourage fitness among their residents. It’s one more way we are working to improve the lives of our communities in which we live and work every day,” said Stephen Friedhoff, M.D., chief clinical officer for Anthem. “For example, we added new social determinant of health indicators to this year’s report and learned that some cities have work to do in the areas of pedestrian safety and air quality, which are both critical to overall wellness. Four of the 10 worst cities for pedestrian fatalities are in Florida, and we know air pollution rivals car accidents and tobacco when it comes to causing deaths.”

At the community level, the ACSM/Anthem Fitness Index is used as an assessment and evaluation tool to educate community leaders on the importance of key indicators of physical activity. Leaders can then focus on policy, systems and environmental change strategies that are evidence-based and create sustainability for their community. ACSM and Anthem agree that the Fitness Index provides cities with the data and resources needed to drive healthy change.

familyfun“We challenge city leaders, regardless of where their community ranks on the ACSM/Anthem Fitness Index, to take bold and decisive action toward building and maintaining infrastructures that promote fitness,” said Barbara Ainsworth, Ph.D., chair of the American Fitness Index Board and a regents’ professor in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.

“Chronic diseases, sedentary lifestyles and pedestrian fatalities are at critical levels in our country, and city leadership can effectively address each of these challenges by becoming a fit city,” Ainsworth added.

Additional findings from the 2019 Fitness Index rankings included:

  • 2.2 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents on average across all 100 cities with the worst city, St. Louis, reporting 5.8 pedestrian deaths per 100,000.
  • Nearly half of the 10 deadliest cities for pedestrians are located in Florida: Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and St. Petersburgh.
  • The 21 worst cities for air quality are in California, Arizona and Nevada.
  • Cities have poor air quality an average 38.3 percent of the year.
  • 75.2 percent of adults in all cities were physically active in the previous month on average, with only 51.2 percent meeting aerobic activity guidelines and 22 percent meeting both aerobic and strength guidelines.
  • 97 percent of residents in the top 10 cities are located within a 10-minute walk to a park, but only 66.4 percent are within a 10-minute walk of a park in all 100 cities.
  • An average of 30.3 percent of residents in all 100 cities were diagnosed with high blood pressure, 3.3 percent with heart disease and 2.9 percent were diagnosed with a stroke.
  • Only 4.5 percent of residents in all 100 cities walk or bike to work, and 7.1 percent use public transportation to and from work.

The 2019 ACSM American Fitness Index rankings are as follows:

Overall Rank City State Overall Score
1 Arlington VA 87.3
2 Seattle WA 77.9
3 Minneapolis MN 76.4
4 San Francisco CA 75.7
5 Madison WI 75.3
6 Washington D.C. 75.1
7 St. Paul MN 69.5
8 Irvine CA 69.4
9 Denver CO 68.4
10 Portland OR 67.8
11 Oakland CA 67.7
12 San Jose CA 67.4
13 Boise ID 66.7
14 San Diego CA 66.7
15 Chicago IL 66.2
16 Pittsburgh PA 66
17 Lincoln NE 63.2
18 Long Beach CA 62.5
19 Boston MA 62.5
20 Sacramento CA 61.9
21 St. Petersburg FL 61.6
22 Atlanta GA 61.2
23 Virginia Beach VA 60.4
24 Santa Ana CA 60
25 Milwaukee WI 59.7
26 Honolulu HI 59.5
27 Los Angeles CA 59
28 Durham NC 58.2
29 Chula Vista CA 58.2
30 Raleigh NC 57.7
31 Albuquerque NM 57.5
32 New York NY 57.3
33 Stockton CA 56.9
34 Fremont CA 56.8
35 Miami FL 56.6
36 Newark NJ 56.3
37 Anaheim CA 56.1
38 Richmond VA 55.7
39 Colorado Springs CO 55.7
40 Aurora CO 55.1
41.5 Orlando FL 54.5
41.5 Buffalo NY 54.5
43 Austin TX 54
44 Plano TX 53.2
45 Omaha NE 52.7
46 Tampa FL 52.3
47 Norfolk VA 52.2
48 Nashville TN 51.3
49 Reno NV 50.9
50 Jersey City NJ 50.9
51 St. Louis MO 50.5
52 Baltimore MD 50.4
53 Tucson AZ 49.7
54 New Orleans LA 49.3
55 Hialeah FL 49.1
56 Greensboro NC 48.2
57 Cincinnati OH 47.9
58 Riverside CA 47.6
59 Glendale AZ 47.5
60 Lubbock TX 47.4
61 Dallas TX 47.4
62 Anchorage AK 46.5
63 Philadelphia PA 46.5
64 Fresno CA 46.2
65 Cleveland OH 45.9
66 Mesa AZ 44.3
67 Kansas City MO 43.6
68 Chandler AZ 43.3
69 Scottsdale AZ 43
70 Columbus OH 42.6
71 Phoenix AZ 41.9
72 El Paso TX 41.8
73 Houston TX 41.5
74 Lexington KY 41.2
75 Charlotte NC 41.1
76 Garland TX 40
77 Jacksonville FL 39.4
78 Irving TX 39
79 Baton Rouge LA 38.5
80 Laredo TX 37.9
81 Winston-Salem NC 37.4
82 San Antonio TX 36.3
83 Gilbert AZ 36.3
84 Chesapeake VA 35.8
85 Las Vegas NV 34.3
86 Fort Wayne IN 34.3
87 Memphis TN 33.8
88 Fort Worth TX 33
89 Henderson NV 32.6
90 Wichita KS 31.6
91 Corpus Christi TX 31
92 Arlington TX 30.8
93 Detroit MI 30.5
94 Bakersfield CA 30.3
95 Louisville KY 28.8
96 Indianapolis IN 28.6
97 Toledo OH 27.8
98 Tulsa OK 27.8
99 North Las Vegas NV 27.2
100 Oklahoma City OK 20.8


About the American College of Sports Medicine
The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to improve educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details can be found at www.acsm.org.

ACSM is a global leader in promoting the benefits of physical activity and advocates for legislation that helps government and the health community make it a priority. ACSM encourages Congress to support continued funding of parks, trails and safe routes to school, to better enable all Americans to meet the prescribed physical activity recommendations included in the National Physical Activity Guidelines.

About Anthem Foundation
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of Anthem, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.

Washington DC Is The Nation’s Fittest City

Share Button

This article is courtesy of ACSM, please share your comments below…..

joggersResidents of the nation’s capital, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul, and San Diego enjoy a variety of outdoor exercise options and have relatively low rates of smoking, obesity and diabetes. That combination of measurable health and community indicators makes them the three fittest of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Oklahoma City, Memphis and Indianapolis rank last among the 50 metro areas studied in the eighth annual American Fitness Index® (AFI) ranking being released today by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation. View the rankings and individual metro data here.

There’s good news and areas of concern from the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. The AFI reveals a troubling 11.3 percent drop in the percentage of individuals who exercised in the last 30 days, and a 7.8 percent increase in the diabetes death rates from 2014 to 2015. The AFI ranking also notes a 5.5 percent drop in those who eat enough fruit each day. Five metro areas dropped significantly in the rankings, falling five or more positions.

On the more positive side, there was also a 9.5 percent decrease in the percentage of respondents who reported that they had been diagnosed with angina or coronary heart disease, and a 5.5 percent increase in the number of park units from 2014 to 2015. Nine metro areas improved their ranking by five or more positions.

With funding from The Anthem Foundation, ACSM studies Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) using a composite score to measure the health of each MSA. Access to public parks was added as a new measure in 2015, and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area topped the list for the second consecutive year with a score of 79.6 out of 100 possible points, a two-point improvement over 2014.

“The AFI is two things: a measure of how healthy a metro area is today, and a call-to-action for urban and suburban leaders to design infrastructures that promote active lifestyles and lead to positive health outcomes,” says Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, chair of the AFI Advisory Board. “Our goal is to provide communities and residents with resources that help them assess, respond and achieve a better, healthier life.”

“We have proudly sponsored the American College of Sports Medicine American Fitness Index® for the past eight years and have witnessed the growing impact this report can have on the health and well-being of communities,” said Sam Nussbaum, MD, chief medical officer for Anthem, Inc. “Across the United States, government, business and organizations have proven that by working together we can improve the health of our cities. These coalitions are using the actionable data from this report to drive health improvement. It is heartening to see a city’s health improve, and this year there were some remarkable shifts in rankings. Opportunities remain and measurement, shared learning and commitment to healthier lifestyles will benefit individuals, our cities and our nation.”

Last year, ACSM also released its first series of AFI data trend reports recapping and documenting progress during a five-year period for each metro area. You can learn more about community health data trends in a given area by going here.

Because physical inactivity has become an epidemic in the U.S., ACSM encourages Americans to exercise for at least 30 minutes and participate in 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training five days a week. Modeling healthy behavior by reducing sedentary time, incorporating activity into the weekday schedule, joining walking clubs, setting goals and involving family and friends can improve fitness, reduce the risk of chronic disease and enhance quality of life.

At the community level, the AFI data report can be used as an assessment and evaluation tool to educate community leaders on the importance of key indicators of physical activity. Leaders can then focus on policy, systems and environmental change (PSE) strategies that are evidence-based and create sustainability for the community.

ACSM is a global leader in promoting the benefits of physical activity and advocates for legislation that helps government and the health community make it a priority. ACSM encourages Congress to support continued funding of parks, trails and safe routes to school, as well as the need for all Americans to meet the prescribed physical activity recommendations included in the National Physical Activity Guidelines, and the need for the guidelines to be regularly updated every 10 years.

View the rest of the article here.