Boston drops from third fittest city to sixth in national index

Oklahoma City was ranked the least fit city in the nation.
Oklahoma City was ranked the least fit city in the nation.

Boston is slipping on the fitness scale, according to findings released Wednesday by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Last year, Boston ranked as the third fittest city in the United States on the college’s Fitness Index, but the city dropped to sixth place this year.

The index measures the health and community fitness status of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. For the third year in a row, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area was named the fittest in the nation.

The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy-area scored 67.1 out of 100 possible points in the 2013 report, down from a score of 70 points last year. Oklahoma City was ranked the least fit city in the nation, with a score of 31.2. Minneapolis pulled in a score of 78.2.

“Just like individual fitness levels, community and city fitness levels fluctuate, as well,” said Katinka Podmaniczky, a Boston Health Commission spokeswoman.

“What’s important is that here in Boston, we have an increasing number of free and low-cost resources to help all our residents be active and make healthy choices – from expanded bike lanes and Hubway stations, to free fitness classes on City Hall plaza, to walking groups in our neighborhoods and more. Now that the weather’s getting warmer, more and more Bostonians will be outside and taking advantage of all the great fitness opportunities this city has to offer.”

Good news first: Bostonians have a lower death rate for cardiovascular disease, and a lower death rate for diabetes. The index also showed a higher percent of insured residents, and a higher percent of people using public transportation and bicycling or walking to work.

Areas of improvement surround lifestyle factors: The city has a higher percentage of smokers, asthmatics and diabetics than other cities.

The index comes just one month after the city fell short of a fitness goal set by city officials.

Boston Moves for Health challenged residents to lose one million pounds and walk 10 million miles over the course of a year. They managed to drop a collective 95,814 pounds and moved 8,592,551 miles.

“We have issued the American Fitness Index each year since 2008 to help health advocates and community leader advocates improve the quality of life in their hometowns,” said Walter Thompson, chair of the AFI Advisory Board. “As urban areas attract more and more residents, it’s imperative for cities to create a built environment, fund amenities and form policies that get residents active and encourage healthy lifestyles.”

The full report is available for download.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…