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Best and worst U.S. cities for an active lifestyle

WalletHub, a personal finance website, has undertaken a survey assesses the best (and worst) cities to live in within the U.S. if someone is keen to pursue an active lifestyle. The survey is based on a series of metrics.

For the research, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest U.S. cities across 38 key metrics. The data set ranged from mean monthly fitness-club fee to bike score to share of physically inactive adults.

The outcome of the study was that the best cities for an active lifestyle are:

1. Honolulu, HI
2. Chicago, IL
3. San Francisco, CA
4. San Diego, CA
5. New York, NY
6. Portland, OR
7. Seattle, WA
8. Minneapolis, MN
9. Denver, CO
10. Washington, DC

Whereas the worst cities are: Stockton, CA; Wichita, KS; Garland, TX; San Bernardino, CA; Irving, TX; Laredo, TX; Arlington, TX; Bakersfield, CA; Hialeah, FL; and North Las Vegas, NV.

The following video provides an overview of the results:

Within the metrics there are lots of notable differences between cities. Some areas of interest include New York has City boasting the greatest number of sporting-goods stores (per square root of population) at 0.44, which stands as thirteen times higher than in North Las Vegas, Nevada, where there are just 0.03 stores per square root of the population.

With an activity like golf, Gilbert, Arizona is the city with the highest number of public golf courses (per square root of population) at 0.08. This figure is almost forty times greater than in Laredo, Texas (with just 0.001 courses per square root of the population).

With fitness instructors, Lincoln, Nebraska has the most trainers and aerobics teachers per 100,000 residents, coming out with a figure of 232. This is close to thirteen times higher than in Corpus Christi, Texas, which has the fewest number of instructors for all U.S. cities at 18.

For children, New York City has the most playgrounds (per square root of population), at 0.63, which is around twenty times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, where the calculated figure is just 0.03.

Commenting on the study, Andrew Newton, of Jacksonville State University, says: “It is important that community organizations take an active role, although the scale of which can vary significantly. Recent studies suggest that community supported, school-based fitness programs may be a good approach to help improve fitness levels, blood pressure, and body composition.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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