Boston Ranked Seventh Healthiest Metro Area in the Country

That's according to the 2016 American Fitness Index.

Photo by Samantha Carey

Photo by Samantha Carey

All of those early morning gym visits, lunch break walks, and green smoothies have paid off, Boston. According to the 2016 American Fitness Index, we’re the seventh healthiest metropolitan area in the country.

Each year, the report, produced by the Anthem Foundation and the American College of Sports Medicine, examines huge swaths of data for the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country, and releases a thorough ranking and report. We’ve placed in the top 10 for the past five years, finishing an impressive third in 2012.

This year’s report puts us behind only the Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Denver, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington, areas. Our areas of excellence, as compared to target goals, include:

  • Percentage of residents who currently smoke (13.1 percent)
  • Farmers’ markets per 1,000,000 residents (36.1)
  • Walk Score (79.5 out of 100)
  • Percentage of residents who walk or bike to work (6.3 percent)
  • Percentage of residents within a 10-minute walk to a park (97.4 percent)
  • Park units per 10,000 residents (5.8)
  • Deaths from cardiovascular disease, per 100,000 residents (142)
  • Deaths from diabetes, per 100,000 residents (13.8)

As always, however, we have some areas that could use improvement, as related to target goals. Those include:

  • Percentage of residents with asthma (11.6 percent)
  • Percentage of residents with diabetes (9.2 percent)
  • Percentage of residents with angina or coronary heart disease (4.3 percent)
  • Swimming pools per 100,000 residents (1.1)
  • Recreation centers per 20,000 residents (0)

The report also showed that, across the board, Americans need to be getting more exercise and eating more fruits and vegetables. Even in the healthiest metropolitan area, Washington, D.C., only 21.3 percent of people met the CDC’s aerobic and strength activity guidelines, only 32 percent ate two or more servings of fruit per day, and only 17.6 percent ate three or more servings of vegetables per day. (In Boston, those numbers were 21.7 percent, 31.9 percent, and 16.4 percent, respectively.)

You can see the full report here. But try and take a peek while you’re on the treadmill tonight, okay?