How fit are your neighbors?The annual raking of the fittest cities in the United States is here, and it’s good news for those who live near the nation’s capital.
The ranking, published by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Elevance Health Foundation on Tuesday, found Arlington, Virginia,topped this year’s list. Washington, D.C., took second place.
The organizations use data from 100 of the largest cities in the country to make their rankings, including information on health behaviors, health outcomes, community infrastructure and local policies.
This marks Arlington’s sixth consecutive year named “America’s Fittest City,” with top scores for personal health as well as community and environment factors.
“Arlington had the highest percentage of residents exercising in the last 30 days, the lowest percentage of residents with diabetes, no pedestrian fatalities and tied for cities with the highest percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk to a park,” according to a news release.
Rounding out the top 10 fittest cities are:
3. Seattle, Washington
4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
5. Irvine, California
6. Madison, Wisconsin
7. San Francisco, California
8. St. Paul, Minnesota
9. Denver, Colorado
10. Oakland, California
The goal of the list is not only to inform, but also to prompt action, the organizations say.
“The science-based Fitness Index offers city leaders valuable data annually to make potentially life-changing decisions in policy, systems and environmental-change strategies that drive fitness,” according to the news release.
And while “no city is immune to chronic disease,” Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, chief health officer of Elevance Health, added in the release, there are steps people can take for a healthier lifestyle, as outlined by some of the index’s health indicators.
“Physical activity has proven to be an effective tool in reducing the prevalence of many chronic diseases. Getting sufficient physical activity could prevent one in 12 cases of diabetes, one in 15 cases of heart disease and one in 10 premature deaths. We also know that food is medicine, and consistent access to nutritious food is an essential part of maintaining health,” Agrawal said.