The Washington region is the “fittest” of the largest 50 metropolitan areas in the United States for the third year in a row, according to a ranking released Wednesday by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation. The study assesses regions’ fitness levels on a scale of 1 to 100, taking into consideration everything from the percentage of people who smoke, exercise regularly, or bike to work, to the number of farmers’ markets and percentage of people who down the recommended three servings of vegetables a day.
Scoring a 77.9, the ranking revealed citizens of our nation’s Capital take their health as seriously as their jobs: 80 percent of people had exercised within the prior 30 days, 61 percent of people were in “excellent or very good health,” and the percentage of people living within a ten-minute walk of a park was a whopping 96 percent. (The national average was just 64 percent).
Washington was followed closely by Minneapolis-St.Paul with a 76.7, with Denver coming in third with a score of 72.6.
So what makes Washington so fit? For one, our relatively low rate of smokers, who account for about 12 percent of residents the survey analyzed. DC residents that utilize public transportation walk more, and a full 14 percent of people in the area use public transportation to commute, more than three times the national average.
The full report can be found here.