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Austin 11th on list of fittest cities

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 30, 2013

Austin is the fittest city in Texas, according to the American College of Sport Medicine’s latest American Fitness Index.

The Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metro area scored 63.6 out of 100 on the index, putting it in 11th place in the rankings.

That’s actually down a spot from last year’s 10th place ranking, even though we scored slightly higher this time out. The 2012 score was 63.4.

The index evaluates the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas based on preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease, health care access and community resources and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles, according to a press release.

Minneapolis-St. Paul topped the list for the third year with a score of 76.4. Also ahead of Austin were Washington, D.C., Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Denver; Boston; Sacramento; Seattle; Hartford, Conn.; and San Jose, Calif.

But Austin soundly whipped its Texas neighbors. Houston came in 43rd, Dallas 44th and San Antonio 48th on the index. The only cities behind San Antonio? Detroit, at 49th, and Oklahoma City, at 50th.

Austin ranked sixth on personal health indicators related to health behaviors, chronic health conditions and health care access.

It ranked 28th on community/environmental indicators associated with the built environment, recreational facilities, park-related expenditures, physical education requirements and primary health care providers.

The American College of Sport Medicine worked with the Indiana University School of Family Medicine and a panel of 26 health experts on the report. Researchers analyzed data from 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 more to compile the index.

To see the entire list and get more details, go to and download the metro area report.