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

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

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.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

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.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…