Friday, May 30, 2014

American Fitness Index Ranks Nation’s 50 Largest Metro Areas by Health

Only one of Texas’ four main metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) scored high on this year’s American Fitness Index. The survey ranks the health of citizens in the nation’s 50 largest cities and surrounding towns. The Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos MSA ranked 14th, while the MSAs of Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and San Antonio scored near the bottom at 35, 38, and 45 respectively.

The American College of Sports medicine, which published the results, looked at federal reports and past studies to determine ranking. Health indicators that helped determine the scores included health behaviors (smoking, diet, exercise), chronic health problems (obesity, diabetes, heart disease), recreational facilities (playgrounds, sports centers), and physical environment (parks, public transportation). The last two health indicators were the main culprit behind Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio’s rankings. While Austin boasts an abundance of parkland and swimming pools, the other three cities fell below the target goal for number of public spaces where its citizens can keep fit.

The top five fittest cities were Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, and San Francisco. See where your closest metropolitan area ranks.

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