Talk about leading by example. The young leaders of our nation's political landscape are also leading the way in personal fitness. DC is fit! Click below to find out how you guys took the lead for the third consecutive row... The report, “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas,” uses a number of criteria to measure the health and fitness pulse of the nation. The study measures each city’s performance based on 30 personal and community health indicators, including acres of parks, death rate from cardiovascular disease, obesity, the number of primary care physicians per capita and the percent of residents who bicycle or walk to work.
DC scored 73.5 out of a possible score of 100 in the study, narrowly topping Boston (72.6), Minneapolis-St.Paul (71.7), Seattle (70.5), and Portland (70.4). And just because it is fun to win, ahem, we mean compare: New York City (52.9) ranked 21st and Los Angeles (40.5) ranked 38th. Factors that hurt New York City and LA were lack of access to parks, recreation centers, pools, and tennis courts.
What factors help DC rise in the rankings? The following are a few of the factors that make Washingtonians fitter than your average city dweller.
Higher percentage eating 5+ servings of fruits/vegetables daily More park units per capita More swimming pools per capita Lower percent currently smoking Lower percent obese More farmers’ markets per capita Higher percent walking or bicycling to work More recreation centers per capita Higher percent in excellent or very good health More tennis courts per capita Number of primary healthcare providers per capita
What else makes DC so fit?
We also might add a few more factors to the list that help make Washingtonians healthy. For example, it doesn’t hurt that triathlete and marathoner Adrian Fenty is probably the fittest mayor in the U.S. (hey – leadership matters!).
DC also has one of the nation’s strongest running communities: the District boasts a plethora of run clubs, a race almost every weekend, and is home to some of the nation’s top-ranked, elite runners.
Also high on the list is our biking scene, which has its own bike lobby (WABA), and over 60 miles of bike lanes throughout the District. And in 2008, DC became the first American city to introduce a bike sharing program when it launched SmartBike DC. (Read about SmartBike’s Launch).
We would also cite the high number of excellent private fitness facilities, with home-grown fitness brands like Results, Mint, Vida, Balance, and over 40 unique yoga studios in DC proper alone. In addition to dance studios, dance organizations, hula hooping groups, and pole dancing workout studios, DC is also home to B.fit, one of a small handful of pure barre studios on the east coast." [via ReadySetDC]