Well the results on in ... the most healthy city in America ... (drum roll please) ... is Washington DC. The American Fitness Index (put together by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation) released their yearly rankings for the the healthiest cities across America. There are 50 cities on the list total. Unfortunately my city, the place where I reside, came in as the least healthy city in America - at #50 Indianapolis, IN.
Top 10 cities:
- Washington DC
- San Francisco
- Salt Lake City
- Hartford, CT
- San Diego
The criteria that went into these rankings include the city's desire to focus on wellness, including environmental factors, like walking paths, parks and access to outdoor activities. They also assess personal health and how much Americans in these cities are making a concerted effort to be active.
For Indianapolis, we have 33% of our population that qualifies as obese (BMI of >30kg/m2). And our parks department only spend $24 per person on maintaining/building park areas. And if you look at the number of people who live within a 10 minute walk from a park, that total is only 32%. When you compare that to the number one healthiest city, Washington DC, they spend $346 per person on their parks, they have 96.3% of their population within a 10 minute walk from a park. Their obesity statistics are much better at 25% of their population = obese.
This is a huge difference and if you think about the culture of Washington DC compared with Indianapolis you have more people driving in Indianapolis and less people walking to/from their homes/work. Hopefully Indianapolis can take this information and work to better our parks and provide areas for people to be outside and get active. This is going to have to be a shift in priorities to put more money into the parks department, but I know that it can make a big difference in all of our lives.
Information/statistics from - www.today.com