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Austin ranks 14th in latest fittest city list

Pam LeBlanc
pleblanc@statesman.com

Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 10, 2014

We beat out Chicago, but just barely.

Austin ranks 14th on the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas.”

The study was based on preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease, and community resources and policies that support physical activity. Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, The Trust for the Public Land City Park Facts and other sources to come up with the list.

The metropolitan statistical area of Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos scored 60.6 out of 100 points in the scoring.

These types of lists always make me suspicious. Northern cities might have more indoor gyms, so people can stay active during the winter. Here, we’ve got trails (and new boardwalk!), plus a chain of lakes where people swim, water ski and hike. How do those factor in?

Here’s the full list:

1. Washington, D.C. 77.3

2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. 73.5

3. Portland, Ore. 72.1

4. Denver, Colo. 71.7

5. San Francisco, Calif. 71.0

6. San Jose, Calif. 69.4

7. Seattle, Wash. 69.3

8. San Diego, Calif. 69.2

9. Boston, Mass. 69.1

10. Sacramento, Calif. 66.9

11. Salt Lake City, Utah 65.7

12. Hartford, Conn. 63.8

13. Raleigh, N.C. 61.5

14. Austin, Texas 60.6

15. Chicago, Ill. 56.6

16. Atlanta, Ga. 56.0

17. Pittsburgh, Pa. 54.8

18. Cincinnati, Ohio 54.5

19. Los Angeles, Calif. 53.4

20. Philadelphia, Pa. 52.9

21. Richmond, Va. 52.3

22. Virginia Beach, Va. 52.0

23. Providence, R.I. 51.6

24. New York, N.Y. 51.5

25. Baltimore, Md. 50.8

26. Miami, Fla. 49.0

27. Charlotte, N.C. 48.1

28. Riverside, Calif. 47.5

29. Buffalo, N.Y. 47.2

30. Jacksonville, Fla. 46.6

31. Tampa, Fla. 46.0

32. Milwaukee, Wis. 45.7

33. Cleveland, Ohio 45.4

34. Kansas City, Mo. 45.1

35. Houston, Texas 44.0*

36. Phoenix, Ariz. 44.0*

37. Las Vegas, Nev. 43.7

38. Dallas, Texas 42.6

39. New Orleans, La. 42.4

40. Columbus, Ohio 41.3*

41. St. Louis, Mo. 41.3*

42. Orlando, Fla. 40.8

43. Detroit, Mich. 37.3

44. Birmingham, Ala. 35.9

45. San Antonio, Texas 35.6

46. Nashville, Tenn. 32.5

47. Indianapolis, Ind. 32.3

48. Oklahoma City, Okla. 31.6

49. Louisville, Ky. 25.7

50. Memphis, Tenn. 24.8

We beat out Chicago, but just barely.

Austin ranks 14th on the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas.”

The study was based on preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease, and community resources and policies that support physical activity. Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, The Trust for the Public Land City Park Facts and other sources to come up with the list.

The metropolitan statistical area of Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos scored 60.6 out of 100 points in the scoring.

These types of lists always make me suspicious. Northern cities might have more indoor gyms, so people can stay active during the winter. Here, we’ve got trails (and new boardwalk!), plus a chain of lakes where people swim, water ski and hike. How do those factor in?

Here’s the full list:

1. Washington, D.C. 77.3

2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. 73.5

3. Portland, Ore. 72.1

4. Denver, Colo. 71.7

5. San Francisco, Calif. 71.0

6. San Jose, Calif. 69.4

7. Seattle, Wash. 69.3

8. San Diego, Calif. 69.2

9. Boston, Mass. 69.1

10. Sacramento, Calif. 66.9

11. Salt Lake City, Utah 65.7

12. Hartford, Conn. 63.8

13. Raleigh, N.C. 61.5

14. Austin, Texas 60.6

15. Chicago, Ill. 56.6

16. Atlanta, Ga. 56.0

17. Pittsburgh, Pa. 54.8

18. Cincinnati, Ohio 54.5

19. Los Angeles, Calif. 53.4

20. Philadelphia, Pa. 52.9

21. Richmond, Va. 52.3

22. Virginia Beach, Va. 52.0

23. Providence, R.I. 51.6

24. New York, N.Y. 51.5

25. Baltimore, Md. 50.8

26. Miami, Fla. 49.0

27. Charlotte, N.C. 48.1

28. Riverside, Calif. 47.5

29. Buffalo, N.Y. 47.2

30. Jacksonville, Fla. 46.6

31. Tampa, Fla. 46.0

32. Milwaukee, Wis. 45.7

33. Cleveland, Ohio 45.4

34. Kansas City, Mo. 45.1

35. Houston, Texas 44.0

36. Phoenix, Ariz. 44.0

37. Las Vegas, Nev. 43.7

38. Dallas, Texas 42.6

39. New Orleans, La. 42.4

40. Columbus, Ohio 41.3

41. St. Louis, Mo. 41.3

42. Orlando, Fla. 40.8

43. Detroit, Mich. 37.3

44. Birmingham, Ala. 35.9

45. San Antonio, Texas 35.6

46. Nashville, Tenn. 32.5

47. Indianapolis, Ind. 32.3

48. Oklahoma City, Okla. 31.6

49. Louisville, Ky. 25.7

50. Memphis, Tenn. 24.8