Twin Cities Fittest in USA

Minneapolis SkylineThe Twin Cities surpassed Washington DC as the fittest city according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s 2011 list of America’s fittest cities. WebMD provided a great summary of the report which included this paragraph:

Even though the Twin Cities reduced park-related expenditures in 2011, the area’s percentage of parkland is still above average, and so is its percentage of recreational facilities other than swimming pools, according to a report from the American College of Sports Medicine, which was made possible by a grant from the Indianapolis-based WellPoint Foundation.

It is no surprise that Portland made the top 5, since Minneapolis and Portland swap the best biking city designation.  And actually none of the top 5 are that surprising.  Here is the list (with their score and 2010 rank):

1. Minneapolis-St. Paul 77.2 3
2. Washington, D.C. 76.8 1
3. Boston, Mass. 69.1 2
4. Portland, Ore. 67.7 5
5. Denver, Colo. 67.6 6

If you want to see a pdf of the Twin Cities data you can click here. Other cities are available at the American Fitness Index website.

Here is a list of the Twin Cities strengths:

  • Lower percent unemployed
  • Higher median household income
  • Lower percentage of households below poverty level
  • Higher percent of any physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days
  • Higher percent physically active at least moderately
  • Lower percent currently smoking
  • Higher percent in excellent or very good health
  • Lower percent with asthma
  • Lower percent with angina or coronary heart disease
  • Lower percent with diabetes
  • Lower death rate for cardiovascular disease
  • Lower death rate for diabetes
  • Higher percent of city land area as parkland
  • More farmers’ markets per capita
  • Higher percent using public transportation to work
  • Higher percent bicycling or walking to work
  • More ball diamonds per capita
  • More dog parks per capita
  • More park playgrounds per capita
  • More golf courses per capita
  • More park units per capita
  • More recreation centers per capita
  • More tennis courts per capita
  • Higher park-related expenditures per capita
  • Higher level of state requirement for Physical  Education classes


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