For the third year in a row, Minneapolis and St. Paul were top ranked in a fitness poll of 50 U.S. cities conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine.
USA Today published a story on the rankings, saying the annual American Fitness Index:
“… is based on a number of health behaviors including smoking, exercise, obesity rates, chronic health problems and access to health care. It also looks at the environment including availability of parks, recreational facilities, walking trails and farmers’ markets. The fitness index was designed by health and medical experts.”
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was touting the news on Twitter this morning:
For the third year in a row Minneapolis St. Paul are named fittest cities in America.
The story quotes Walt Thompson, chairman of the advisory board who created the index and a professor of exercise physiology at Georgia State University in Atlanta:
“What Minneapolis has done brilliantly is put their resources where residents can use them effectively to maintain a high level of physical activity.”
He said Minneapolis does better than other cities when it comes to the number of baseball diamonds, playgrounds, golf courses and dog parks, spending double the amount of money on parks per capita ($227 a person) as some other cities.
“We really believe that if people don’t have the environment to exercise, they probably won’t.”
The top 10 cities on the list:
- Minneapolis-St. Paul
- Washington, D.C.
- Portland, Ore.
- San Francisco
- Hartford, Conn.
- San Jose
Oklahoma City was 50th.