American Fitness Index Report: These are the fittest US cities in 2020

The American Fitness Index found that Arlington, Virginia, is the fittest US city this year. For the third year in a row, Arlington, Virginia, is the fittest city in the U.S., according to a recent report.

On Tuesday, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation published the annual American Fitness Index, which put Arlington in the top spot on its list of the 100 largest U.S. cities.

To determine the ranking, the American Fitness Index analyzed those cities based on 33 measurements, including “health behaviors, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators,” according to a release about the report.

Arlington took the top spot because of its healthy behaviors and community infrastructure, the release said.

Aside from getting the overall top spot, Arlington was also found to be the city with the lowest rate of adults with obesity and the city with the highest rate of residents who meet aerobic and strength activity guidelines, according to the release.

The report also found that all 100 cities saw improvements in several areas including the rate of residents exercising, the number of residents who smoke, and the number of parks within a 10-minute walk.

However, in all 100 cities, only 22 percent of adults met guidelines for aerobic and strength activities.

“It should be of national concern that only one in four Americans meets national physical activity guidelines and more than 30 million have diagnosed heart disease,” American Fitness Index Advisory Board chair Barbara Ainsworth, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, said in a statement.

“Sedentary lifestyles across the United States cost more than $117 billion annually in sick care services, adversely impacting both our nation’s health and economic well-being,” Ainsworth added. “This challenge has local solutions, and the Fitness Index is a prescription for communities to bring about positive change.”

According to the report, the coronavirus pandemic shows how important it is for cities to give residents the opportunities to have healthy lifestyles.

“We know from research that physical activity can build a healthier immune system and overall wellness, which help minimize harmful effects of illness and disease,” Ainsworth said. “This pandemic shows the need to have local parks, trails and connected sidewalks in all neighborhoods that allow people to exercise safely. City leaders and planners need to act boldly and decisively to enact policies and funding to promote physical activity, better health and stronger communities.”

To see what other cities made it to the top ranking, here are the top 10 fittest U.S. cities in 2020, according to the American Fitness Index.

10. Boston

9. Boise, Idaho

8. Denver, Colorado

7. Irvine, California

6. Washington, D.C.

5. San Francisco

4. Madison, Wisconsin

3. Minneapolis, Minnesota

2. Seattle, Washington

1. Arlington, Virginia


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