America’s Finest City also happens to be one of the fittest – though not as fit as last year, according to research released Wednesday.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation released the 9th annual American Fitness Index, which highlights the fittest of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
Categories factored into the 125-page fitness rankings report include “Personal Health Indicators” – specifically the health behaviors and chronic health problems of residents – and “Community/Environmental Indicators,” including recreational facilities, built environment, policy for school physical education and park-related expenditures.
According to the index, San Diego County ranks No. 10. San Diego’s overall score, out of a possible 100, is 64.1.
Last year, San Diego ranked No. 3. The index says San Diego’s drop in score is one of the largest drops in this year’s round-up, along with Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Sacramento.
Here’s how some of San Diego’s fitness ranking breaks down:
• 71.4 percent of residents have taken part in “any physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days”
• 56.6 percent of residents are “in excellent or very good health”
• 36.2 percent of residents consume two or more fruits per day
• 22.5 percent consume three or more vegetables per day
• 11.6 percent are currently smoking
• 23.5 percent of city land area is parkland
• 75.8 percent of residents are within a 10-minute walk to a park
To see the report's section San Diego’s ranking in full, click here.
Other cities that landed the top 10 spots on the fitness index include, in order: Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis; Denver; Portland; San Francisco; Seattle; Boston; Salt Lake City; Hartford.
Overall, the index found a rise in people exercising and drop in smoking. The three top metro areas showed increased walking by residents, frequent use of public transportation, more parkland for exercise and lower cardiovascular and diabetes issues.
To enhance healthy lifestyles and promote physical activity in cities across the nation, the ACSM and Anthem Foundation released this guide last year, which offers an overview of critical decisions and factors related to community action.
To read the full American Fitness Index, click here.