Report Reveals Healthiest, Fittest Cities

The Twin Cities ranked number one for three years in a row because of their park system and low rates of chronic illness.

The Twin Cities ranked number one for three years in a row because of their park system and low rates of chronic illness.

The American Fitness Index recently came out with their list of America’s healthiest, fittest cities, and the Twin Cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul, are the winners for the third year in a row. Oklahoma City was at the bottom at number 50.

The Index, part of the American College of Sports Medicine, assessed and compared America’s 50 most populous cities based on their citizens’ state of health and fitness at the community level. They assess health factors like smoking, exercise, obesity, availability to health care − including the proportion of people who have health insurance coverage. They also assess environmental indicators of health and wellness, including park space and availability of swimming pools, dog parks and recreation centers.

But alas, no city is perfect. In fact, in assessing the Twin Cities, the experts noted that they had too many smokers and few acres of parkland per capita. However, the cities boasted having lower death rates from chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. It had a high percentage of citizens who were at least moderately physically active. The cities also spend around $227 per person on their park system, compared to only $61 dollars in Oklahoma City.

In addition to the Twin Cities, Washington, DC, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Boston, Sacramento, Seattle, Hartford and San Jose all made the top 10 list. Washington, DC was the only city that spent more on parks per capita than the Twin Cities. They spent $398 per person on maintaining their 7,464 acres of parks.

You can visit the American Fitness Index website to see a complete list of the cities and see where your home city ranked and their suggested improvements.