How fit is Chicago?

May 28, 2009 10:56:10 AM PDT
Chicago is smack in the middle when it comes to fitness levels among the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.The city and its surrounding areas- including the collar counties and parts of Indiana and Wisconsin- ranked 25 in the report released by American Fitness Index (AFI).

Get fit, Chicago!

  • Free workouts at Millennium Park
  • Chicago Park District classes, outdoor adventures
  • Chicago beaches open for summer
  • The area's advantages include, among other things, higher use of public transit, higher percentage of bicycling and walking to work, and state requirement for PE classes.

    The 'challenges' include high unemployment numbers, fewer dog parks, low percentage of city land for parks, and fewer playgrounds and golf courses per capita.

    The AFI evaluation looks at how an area approaches preventative health, levels of chronic disease, access to healthcare and community resources and policies for physical activity. It was developed to help communities identify opportunities to improve the community's health and move toward a more active lifestyle, according to AFI. Download the report (PDF)

    Communities with a high score in the system have a high level of fitness. Chicago's score was 47.6.

    The top 10 ranks:
    1. Washington, DC 74.4

    2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 72.1

    3. Denver, CO 71.6

    4. Boston, MA 71.4

    5. San Francisco, CA 71.3

    6. Seattle, WA 69.7

    7. Portland, OR 68.1

    8. San Diego, CA 66.8

    9. Austin, TX 65.1

    10. Virginia Beach, VA 63.1

    The AFI report is supported by a grant from the WellPoint Foundation.


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