Many people aspire to be healthy, and good habits, including being physically active, can certainly help. However, there are obstacles that may prevent a person from maintaining a consistently active daily routine, and one may be one’s place of residence. Some cities don’t have many parks and other outdoor places to exercise, while others seemingly have a gym on every block.
To determine the best cities for active people, 24/7 Tempo constructed a weighted index of five measures: workers who commute by walking; recreational sports facilities per capita; the share of people with easy access to venues for exercise; people who regularly exercise; and the area’s rank as being pedestrian and cyclist friendly.
Twelve of the 25 best cities for active people are in the West, eight of them specifically in California and Colorado. It is likely that a combination of environmental factors such as weather contribute to the higher shares of adults who regularly exercise in those cities — these are the 50 cities getting the most exercise.
Even little time spent exercising can contribute to maintaining healthy weight. The share of adults who are obese is notably lower in metropolitan areas ranked as the best for active people. The adult obesity rate is lower than the national rate of approximately 29.0% in 24 cities on this list, and it’s equal in only one.
Similarly, the average share of adults who live in the best cities for those leading a physically active lifestyle and report being in poor or fair health is higher than the national average of 17.2% in all 25 cities on the list.