1. Small, affluent metro areas have the best fitness-venue availability.
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The study authors reached this conclusion by measuring America's concentration of fitness center employees. They highlight "a combination of outdoorsy sports-oriented places and college towns" in places such as Bend, Oregon; Missoula, Montana; State College, Pennsylvania; San Luis Obispo, California; Burlington, Vermont; and Boulder, Colorado (pictured).
2. Southern and Rustbelt metro areas lack fitness resources.
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"[T]he places with the smallest concentrations of fitness-center employees are smaller, distressed parts of the South ... economically hard-hit Rustbelt metros ... and Sunbelt retirement communities," the study says. The authors specifically cite Pine Bluffs, Arkansas; Flint, Michigan; Weirton, West Virginia; and The Villages, Florida.
3. Wealthier cities claim more fitness professionals.
"America’s fitness-center availability tracks closely with key markers of socioeconomic class," the study says. The authors note positive associations with income and occupation trends and the number of fitness centers and employees in a given locality.
4. Education and fitness are correlatives.
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Innovative, high-tech metro areas also claim more fitness centers and employees. "Our measure is positively associated with greater concentrations of science and technology workers and higher levels of innovation, measured by number of patents," according to the study.
5. Residents of fitness-rich cities bike more, drive less.
Not only is biking more prevalent among those living in fitness-oriented cities, but these residents are also reportedly happier and more creative, the study says.