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Study: America’s Largest Metro Areas Get Their Annual Physical

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Minneapolis, St. Paul, tops the “2013 American Fitness Index” for the third straight year as one of the healthiest, fittest and community-active places to live in all of America. This is an interesting and great study that emanates from The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), an organization that tracks fitness and public health.

I was born in New York City, summered in Connecticut, moved to San Fran and now I live in Los Angeles, Calif.  And none of those cities ever seem to makes this fit list. (What is up with that?) Okay, San Francisco barely made the list.

Did your city make the list of healthiest places to live in the USA?

The 2013 AFI data report states, “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas,” reflects a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access and community resources and policies that support physical activity. Included in the report’s latest edition are benchmarks for each data indicator to highlight areas that need improvement. Minneapolis achieved a score of 78.2 (out of 100 possible points), up slightly from its previous score of 76.4 on the 2012 AFI data report.

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To assist with measurement and to provide a baseline measure of health and fitness status, ACSM worked with the Indiana University School of Family Medicine and a panel of 26 health and physical activity experts on the methodology of the AFI data report.

Researchers analyzed the data gleaned from U.S. Census data, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, The Trust for the Public Land City Park Facts and other existing research data in order to give a scientific, accurate snapshot of the health and fitness status at a metropolitan level.

Here are the top 10 healthiest metropolitan areas, according to this study. But if NY and LA are not included, I may not totally agree with these findings:

1. Minneapolis

2. Washington, D.C.

3. Portland

4.  San Francisco

5. Denver

6. Boston

7. Sacramento

8. Seattle

9. Hartford

10. San Jose

What makes your city fit and healthy?

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