San Diegans ranked in top 10 for fitness

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fitness1The American Fitness Index for 2014 was released recently, and San Diego is listed in the number 8 position. In a study conducted by the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and the American College of Sports Medicine among  the U.S.A.’s fifty most populous metropolitan areas, our fair city was ranked 6 positions better than in last year’s report. San Diego acheived 69.2 points on the checklist of health attributes, compared to number 1 Washington, D.C.’s 77.3, the highest possible score being 100.

Information from both government and civilian organizations, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used in the research. Cities were given points based upon a compilation of data that measured chronic disease conditions, public health policies, activities known to prevent health problems, and the resources of the local community.

San Diego got high marks in the personal fitness and exercise category, yet low grades in levels of coronary problems, diabetes, and mental health. The top 10 cities were:fitness5

  1. Washington, D.C. :77.3
  2. Minneapolis:          73.5
  3. Portland:                 72.1
  4. Denver:                    71.7
  5. San Francisco:      71.0
  6. San Jose:                 69.4
  7. Seattle:                     69.3
  8. San Diego:              69.2
  9. Boston:                    69.1
  10. Sacramento:         66.9

Los Angeles was 19th, and the bottom five rankings were Nashville at 46, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Louisville and Memphis at 50.fitness2

More San Diego statistics from the AFI report:

  • Personal Health Rank: 4
  • Personal Health Score: 79.5
  • Community Health Rank: 14
  • Community Health Score: 59.1

Health Behaviors:

  • Percent any physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days: 77.7 (goal=82.6)
  • Percent meeting CDC aerobic activity guidelines: 33.1 (goal=32.2)
  • Percent consuming 2+ fruits per day: 36.9 (goal=35.6)
  • Percent consuming 3+ vegetables per day: 20.0 (goal=19.6)
  • Percent currently smoking tobacco: 9.5 (goal=13.1)
  • Percent obese: 22.7 (goal=21.3)
  • Percent with diabetes: 9.6 (goal=6.4)

fitness3The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) launched the ACSM American Fitness Index™ program (AFI), in 2008, partnered with the WellPoint Foundation. The criteria that had been used for the study’s first 5 years were examined and updated this year. Added importance has now been given to food intake data and the amount of exercise performed. Also, information concerning health insurance and primary care providers as measure to population are no longer part of the calculations, as they are now not considered significantly relevant to fitness.

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