Have you been to Washington D.C lately? Noticed all the runners? It’s not something new, but it’s remarkable. The high number of individuals trotting around town in the morning, at lunch time and after work has contributed to making Washington D.C rank as the healthiest city in the U.S for the third year in a row.
The rankings were decided by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation, which compiles the American Fitness Index (AFI). According to today.com, the college looks at personal health and environmental factors to come to its conclusions about the healthiest cities in the nation.
Why does D.C seem to have so much success staying active? A variety of reasons come into play, but having easy access to parks could play into it. Stats say that over 96 per cent of the population in Washington D.C lives within a 10-minute walk of a park, and the city is putting a substantial amount of money into keeping them nice, perhaps making citizens more inclined to use them. D.C reportedly spends $346 per resident on parks, compared with the last place ranking Indianapolis, which spends a measly $24 per resident on communal outdoor spaces.
Some say that the attitude of a city’s residents also comes into play when looking at who is most fit. As for what keeps D.C literally on its feet, that could be an important factor:
“Running appeals to a certain type of person,” said Carla Freyvogel, vice president of the Washington Running Club, to Washington Post back in 2013. “It is a sport that’s very much consistent with your stereotypical Washingtonian: competitive, self-motivated, out to prove a point, independent. That’s a Washingtonian. That’s a runner.”
Want to know where you stand? To see where your city ranks, check the full list here.
For a brief overview, here’s a look at the top and bottom of AFI’s rankings, as listed on Today.com:
- Washington D.C.
- San Francisco
- Salt Lake City
- Hartford, CT
- San Diego
- Las Vegas
- San Antonio
- Oklahoma City