Arlington ranks No. 1 in nation in fitness

Arlington is once again at the top of list when it comes to fitness. The Virginia locality ranked No. 1 as the fittest in the nation, according to the 2021 ACSM American Fitness Index by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.

This is the fourth year in a row that Arlington topped the list, scoring 86.1 out of a possible 100 points.

The annual Fitness Index ranks the nation’s 100 most populous cities by 34 variables, including personal health behaviors, food insecurity and walkability.

“Arlington continues to set a high standard and performed well against the top competitors in Minneapolis, MN and Seattle, WA, ranked #2 and #3 overall respectively,” said the final report from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.

“Arlington also ranked #1 in the personal health and community/environment sub-scores. At the individual indicator level, Arlington ranked among the top 10 cities for 18 of the 34 indicators in the Fitness Index, with eight indicators ranked #1.”

Arlington ranked No. 1 in fitness. (Courtesy 2021 ACSM American Fitness Index)

Here are the top 6 on the index:

  1. Arlington, Virginia
  2. Minneapolis
  3. Seattle
  4. Denver
  5. Madison, Wisconsin
  6. D.C.

“Arlington continues to set a high standard and performed well against the top competitors in Minneapolis, MN, and Seattle, WA, ranked #2 and #3 overall respectively,” said the final report from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.

“Arlington also ranked #1 in the personal health and community/environment sub-scores. At the individual indicator level, Arlington ranked among the top 10 cities for 18 of the 34 indicators in the Fitness Index, with eight indicators ranked #1.”

Arlington ranked No. 1 in fitness. (Courtesy 2021 ACSM American Fitness Index)

Ranking last in the nation is Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Read the full report


Overall, Virginia Beach came in at No. 26 and Norfolk at No. 28. Richmond was No. 50. Baltimore was No. 67. Chesapeake, Virginia, ranked 95th.

Richmond came in second, behind Lubbock, Texas, for cities getting more than seven hours of sleep. Arlington was eighth for sleep.

Baltimore tied for No. 2 with New Orleans for cities with the highest food insecurity. No. 1 for food insecurity was St. Louis, Missouri.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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