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ACSM American Fitness Index(TM) Ranks 50 Largest Metro Areas on Health and Community Fitness
Date:5/26/2009

Washington, D.C. Tops List of America's Fittest Cities

SEATTLE, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington, D.C., metro area is the fittest of America's 50 most populous metropolitan areas according to the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) American Fitness Index(TM) (AFI). ACSM unveiled the 2009 rankings and released the AFI data report, "Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas," during the organization's Annual Meeting in Seattle. The report, produced in partnership with the WellPoint Foundation, is a snapshot of the state of health and fitness in America's most populous metropolitan areas.

The AFI data report reflects a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access, as well as community resources and policies that support physical activity. In addition to a data report, AFI is a program designed to help communities identify opportunities to improve the health of their residents and expand community assets to better support active, healthy lifestyles.

"ACSM believes that researching and understanding the scope of the problem is the first step toward developing programs, initiatives and policies to increase physical activity," according to AFI Advisory Board Chair Walt Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM. "The data evaluated for this report will help identify each metropolitan area's strengths and weaknesses."

Based on figures related to healthy lifestyles and physical activity, the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) of Washington-Arlington-Alexandria scored 74.4 in the AFI data report to achieve the top ranking. Metro areas completing the top five were Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Boston and San Francisco, which finished at the top of the inaugural rankings in 2008. Seattle, ACSM's host city for its 2009 Annual Meeting, along with the surrounding MSA
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SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine
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