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Fittest Cities 2014

By on May 31, 2014

The nation’s capital is known for many things but the epitome of health and fitness is not an obvious association. 

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM),  Washington D.C. is the healthiest city in America. That’s big news for the Capitol, and for Minneapolis-St. Paul, which got demoted to #2 after holding the top spot for three straight years.

Yes, Washington’s spending habits may be porky but its citizens’ diets are full of fruits and vegetables, and its parks and streets are regularly filled with joggers. According to ACSM, no city boasts a higher American Fitness Index (AFI) score.

AFI is an amalgamation of various data points reflecting the overall health of a city’s population and the extent to which community resources and policies encourage healthy behaviors. So while Washington’s high AFI score is partially thanks to its citizens’ low rates of obesity, incidents of chronic disease and diminished smoking habits, its government — specifically its parks and recreation officials — are also deserving of kudos.

“The AFI data report is a snapshot of the state of health in the community and an evaluation of the infrastructure, community assets and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles,” Thompson explained. “These measures directly affect quality of life in our country’s urban areas.”

The metropolitan rankings in the 2014 AFI report are:

Rank Metropolitan Area 2014 Score
 1. Washington, D.C. 77.3
2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. 73.5
3. Portland, Ore. 72.1
4. Denver, Colo. 71.7
5. San Francisco, Calif. 71.0
6. San Jose, Calif. 69.4
7. Seattle, Wash. 69.3
8. San Diego, Calif. 69.2
9. Boston, Mass. 69.1
10. Sacramento, Calif. 66.9
11. Salt Lake City, Utah 65.7
12. Hartford, Conn. 63.8
13. Raleigh, N.C. 61.5
14. Austin, Texas 60.6
15. Chicago, Ill. 56.6
16. Atlanta, Ga. 56.0
17. Pittsburgh, Pa. 54.8
18. Cincinnati, Ohio 54.5
19. Los Angeles, Calif. 53.4
20. Philadelphia, Pa. 52.9

 

The 2014 AFI data report, “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas,” reflects a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, and community resources and policies that support physical activity.