For the third year in a row, the Metropolitan DC area received the #1 ranking for the fittest city in the nation in the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) American Fitness Index.
The ACSM polls residents of the 50 largest metropolitan areas and their rankings are based on a variety of factors including community health policies, preventive health behaviors, federal reports, instances of exercise, health insurance coverage, accessibility to public lands/parks, incidents of co-morbidities, etc.
According to the “DC” respondents, and DC is defined by ACSM as those who live within a wide swath of the metro area, 80% had engaged in some sort of physical activity, 90% currently have health insurance and the city scored 73.5 out of 100 points. Charm City (aka Baltimore) came in at #20, Richmond at #11 and Virginia Beach at #17.
Although I’m all for DC being #1, I have my doubts especially given the broad definition of the DC area and the weighting of public lands and insurance coverage in the rankings. Just because we’re located near many national and state parks, or because many of our residents are employed by the federal government and therefore have health insurance, doesn’t make us the fittest city in the nation.