Maybe Washington isn’t at a standstill after all. According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s ninth annual American Fitness Index, the District of Columbia is the fittest city in the U.S. – a trophy it’s held now for three consecutive years. One reason? The nation’s capital spends $346 per resident on its parks – an amount that far exceeds the $102 AFI recommends cities spend on each of their inhabitants.
“Parks are accessible in DC, almost everybody lives within a 10-minute walk of a park and the parks are kept up and safe by the city,” says Walter Thompson, who chairs the AFI Advisory Board. In cities like Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Louisville, Kentucky, which hold the bottom three positions in this year’s report, “just the opposite is happening,”
The ASCM’s American Fitness Index, which scores 50 metropolitan areas in the U.S., also takes into account how many people in each city smoke, are overweight and eat at least two servings of fruit each day. Measures of “community fitness,” such as the region’s walkability, school requirements for physical education and number of pools and tennis courts, are factored in, too.
|2016 Rank||2015 Rank||Metropolitan Area||2016 Score|
|2||2||Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||76.7|
|5||4||San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||69.3|
|8||12||Salt Lake City, UT||65.5|
|9||11||Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||65.3|
|10||3||San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||64.1|
|11||10||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||63.4|
|14||14||Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||62.3|
|15.5 ±||20||Austin-Round Rock, TX||59.3|
|15.5 ±||13||Raleigh, NC||59.3|
|19||15||Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC||54.6|
|20||33||Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||54.2*|
|22||24||New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||53.8|
|26||27||Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||51.7|
|28||29||Saint Louis, MO-IL||50.9|
|29||23||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||50.8|
|30||26||Kansas City, MO-KS||50.3|
|32||30||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||48.2|
|33||42||New Orleans-Metairie, LA||46.0|
|35||32||Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY||43.6|
|36||34||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||42.7|
|37||41||Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||42.2|
|40||39||Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||40.6|
|41||31||Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV||40.4*|
|45||47||San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||35.0|
|48||46||Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN||31.8|
|49||48||Oklahoma City, OK||29.5|
Written By: Anna Medaris Miller
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