DC ranked fittest city in the country

DC ranked fittest city in the country
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Washington, D.C. is the fittest city in the country, according to a ranking released Tuesday from the American College of Sports Medicine. 

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The ranking, the American Fitness Index, combines government data on both personal health factors like obesity rates and community aspects like the amount of parkland available. 

Washington is at the top of the list of the largest 50 metropolitan areas for the second year in a row. It is followed by Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento. 

The bottom of the list is Indianapolis, Memphis, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Louisville. 

Walter Thompson, a health professor who chairs the index’s advisory board, pointed to factors like physical education in schools and spending on public parks as making a difference. 

“The top cities, like DC, for example, have a physical education requirement through high school,” Thompson said. 

The lower half of the list has requirements ending around fifth grade, he said. 

He also noted the disparity between Washington, at the top of the list, which spends $287 per capita on parks, versus Indianapolis, at the bottom, which spends $27. 

The rankings also put Washington high for lower levels of heart diseases, as well as many farmers’ markets, recreation centers, and people biking or walking to work. 

The city still falls short of the report’s target—at the 90th percentile for all cities—on exercise in the last 30 days. The report finds that 73 percent of Washingtonians have exercised in the last 30 days, short of the target of 82 percent. 

Overall, though, the report notes that Washington “has continued to rank at the top by investing in the community and environmental indicators that support a healthy and active lifestyle.”

The full rankings:

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

Salt Lake City, UT

Raleigh, NC

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

Richmond, VA

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Austin-Round Rock, TX

Pittsburgh, PA

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Cleveland-Elyria, OH

Kansas City, MO-KS

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Saint Louis, MO-IL

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

Jacksonville, FL

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Columbus, OH

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

New Orleans-Metairie, LA

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Birmingham-Hoover, AL

Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN

Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

Oklahoma City, OK

Memphis, TN-MS-AR

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN