For the second year in a row, “America's Fittest City” honor goes to Arlington, Virginia, ranked as the top fittest city in the United States for 2019, according to the annual American Fitness Index. The ranking was compiled by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and funded by the Anthem Foundation.
One hundred cities were studied, with Seattle and Minneapolis ranked as the second and third fittest cities in the nation. The country's 100 largest cities were evaluated using 33 health behaviors, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators.
Arlington took the top spot on the list again because of the city's combined balance of healthy behaviors and community infrastructure, which included residents who had exercised in the past month, met aerobic and strength activity guidelines, with low rates of smoking and pedestrian fatalities.
The city ranked in the top 10 for 22 of the 33 indicators in the Fitness Index, with six indicators ranked No. 1. New indicators in the study for this year were concerns about pedestrian safety and air quality.
“We added new social determinant of health indicators to this year’s report and learned that some cities have work to do in the areas of pedestrian safety and air quality, which are both critical to overall wellness. Four of the 10 worst cities for pedestrian fatalities are in Florida, and we know air pollution rivals car accidents and tobacco when it comes to causing deaths,” said Dr, Stephen Friedhoff, chief clinical officer for Anthem.
The report is a scientific snapshot of the state of health and fitness at the metropolitan level, according to ACSM. The AFI measures the health of a metro area and helps urban leaders design infrastructure to promote active lifestyles.
According to the report, avoiding sedentary behaviors and engaging in regular physical activity are two of the most important ways people can improve and maintain their health.
More detailed information, including the full city rankings and summary report, can be found by going to the ACSM American Fitness Index.
Click on the arrow to view the gallery of the cities that made the list of the 10 fittest cities.