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May 15, 2019

Here's how Philadelphia ranks in fitness among 100 other U.S. cities

Spoiler: We don't top the list (not even close)

Fitness Healthy Living
Stock_Carroll - Exercising on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Exercising on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum Art.

Even though we love our cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, Philadelphians seem pretty fit? It seems as if a new boutique fitness studio pops up monthly, and there’s legitimate traffic on heavily-used trails, like Kelly Drive, due to all the bikers and runners.

You’d expect the City of Brotherly Love would fall just a little behind other fitness-filled metropolitan areas like New York City and Los Angeles.

We do, indeed, fall behind these cities, and far down the list of cities on the American College of Sports Medicine's annual American fitness index ranking. The index ranks the 100 largest cities in America for health behaviors, outcomes, community fitness accessibility and policies that promote and support an active lifestyle.

RELATED READ: Where Pennsylvania, New Jersey score in nationwide dental health ranking

According to the ACSM, the index also serves to provide guidance for officials and community leaders looking to improve the health of their city.

So, as for where Philly ranks, we’re 63rd overall. Womp, womp

But we rank quite well in the ACSM’s deeper look into community and environment scoring. For this, Philadelphia ranks eighth. Also notable, is that Philadelphia ranks 10th on the list of cities with parks within a 10-minute walk. The city also makes Top 10 lists for use of public transportation and walking — forms of what the ACSM deems “active transportation.”

Pittsburgh, however, ranks much better overall — coming in at 16th overall on the list. (C'mon, they put french fries on the sandwich there.)

The most fit U.S. city for 2019, according to ACSM, is Arlington, Virginia, with 71.4 percent of residents considered to be in excellent or very good health, 92.6 percent residents who have exercised in that last 30 days and many other positive local health factors.

View the full fitness index report here.

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