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

s and recommendations that better enable individuals and communities to engage in physical activity as a part of a healthier lifestyle.

With this background in mind, ACSM created the ACSM American Fitness Index(TM) (AFI) program to statistically measure the state of health and fitness at a city-level; provide valuable resources to help cities focus on their efforts; and assist communities in connecting with invaluable health promotion partners.

To assist with measurement and to provide a baseline measure of health and fitness status, ACSM worked with the Indiana University School of Family Medicine and a panel of 26 health and physical activity experts on the methodology of the AFI data report. Researchers analyzed the data gleaned from U.S. Census data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), The Trust for the Public Land City Park Facts, and other existing research data in order to give a scientific, accurate snapshot of the health and fitness status at a metropolitan level.

The team chose to examine Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) rather than city limits. This approach would allow for an examination of the shared health-related resources of the city core, its sister cities and the surrounding suburban area.

The data examined fall into two categories: 1) Personal Health Indicators; and 2) Community and Environmental Indicators. Visit the online newsroom at www.AmericanFitnessIndex.org for a complete list of the data components.

With this data, cities can compare their health status and fitness attributes to other cities. Additionally, the cities can use materials, resources and connections associated with the program to help their city improve its health, fitness and quality of life.

With AFI's network of health
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SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine
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