From USA Today:
Washington, D.C., is the fittest city in the United States for the third year in a row, according to a ranking of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country.
The nation’s capital was closely followed byMinneapolis-St. Paul and Denver as the second- and third-fittest of the 50 metro areas, according to the American Fitness Index.The ninth annual ranking came out today from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.
Washington’s low rate of smoking pushed its ranking to the top once again, according to the report, which is based on a number of health behaviors and environmental factors such as access to parks, recreational facilities and walking trails.Residents in the top three fittest cities all tend to walk more because they use public transportation, have greater access to parks for recreation and lower cardiovascular and diabetes-related health-issues, according to the report.
Many of the lowest-ranking metro areas on the list fell in areas in the South and Midwest.
Indianapolis came dead last on the ranking, followed by Oklahoma City, which in the past has also held the lowest ranking.
Many of the cities on the lower end of the list have a disadvantage in that they may not have the same recreational parks and outdoor amenities as other higher-ranked cities like Denver.