Arlington tops ‘fittest city’ list once again

Arlington, Virginia, has been named “America’s Fittest City” for the fifth year in a row by the American College of Sports Medicine.

ACSM has been ranking cities for healthy lifestyles for 15 years, based on 34 evidence-based health indicators, including diet and exercise, hours of sleep, obesity, air quality, biking score, parks and mental health.

The District ranks No. 4 this year.

Madison, Wisconsin, is No. 2, Minneapolis is No. 3, and Seattle is No. 5.

Richmond ranked No. 36. Virginia Beach ranked No. 43, and Norfolk came in at No. 47. Chesapeake, Virginia, ranked 87th.

Baltimore was No. 67.

Including mental health concerns this year, ACSM found, on average, more than 39% of residents reported poor mental health, and 58% have perceived a pandemic-related negative effect on emotional or mental health.

Cities reporting the highest rates of poor mental health include New Orleans; Laredo, Texas; San Francisco; Washington; San Jose; Madison, Wisconsin; Lubbock, Texas; Stockton; Riverside, California and Cincinnati.

Arlington ranks No. 1 in multiple categories. It tops the list for the percentage of residents who report exercising in the last 30 days, at about 85%; for the smallest percentage of smokers, at 3.5%, and the percentage who consider themselves in very good health at roughly 66%.

Arlington scored within the top 10 in 19 of the 34 categories measured by the American College of Sports Medicine.

The bottom five cities in the 100 ranked for fitness are Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis; Tulsa, Oklahoma; North Las Vegas; and Oklahoma City.

Full rankings by city and category are online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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