Category: Program Briefs

Infographic: 2017 ACSM American Fitness Index

According to the 2017 ACSM American Fitness Index, the top 10 fittest cities in the U.S. are:

  1. Minneapolis, MN
  2. Washington, DC
  3. San Francisco, CA
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. Boston, MA
  7. Denver, CO
  8. Portland, OR
  9. Salt Lake City, UT
  10. San Diego, CA

Share this infographic and the Fitness Index with your local leaders to start a conversation on making your city a healthier place for all residents.

Advisory Board Member, Dr. Melinda Manore, Receives ACSM Citation Award

2016 AM Citation Award 2_Melinda Manore

Newswise — The American College of Sports Medicine is pleased to announce that Melinda M. Manore, Ph.D., R.D., C.S.S.D., FACSM is a recipient of its 2016 Citation Award. Dr. Manore was selected for this award because of her significant contributions to sports medicine and the exercise sciences. She was recognized at an awards banquet during the association’s annual meeting.

“Citation Award winners are selected for their leadership and contributions in the areas of research and scholarship, clinical care, administrative services or educational services,” said Liz Joy, president of ACSM. “We’re happy to recognize Dr. Manore’s tremendous accomplishments.”

Dr. Manore is a professor of nutrition at Oregon State University. After completing her undergraduate degree from Seattle Pacific University (1973), M.S. in health education from the University of Oregon (1980), and Ph.D. in Human Nutrition with dual minors in exercise science and health from OSU (1984), Dr. Manore has maintained an international reputation of excellence in research, education and service to the scientific communities of exercise science and nutrition. Dr. Manore is recognized worldwide for her seminal research in energy balance, optimal nutrition for exercise and sport, and promotion of women’s health via reducing risks for obesity and related chronic diseases and the Female Athlete Triad.

Dr. Manore has contributed 90 peer-reviewed original publications to the world scientific literature, including ACSM Position Stands on Nutrition and Athletic Performance, the Female Athlete Triad, and Appropriate Intervention Strategies for Physical Activity, Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults. She is lead or co-editor of 16 books and 31 invited book chapters, and also contributes generously to professional outreach and education journals. Her service to ACSM includes serving as vice-president in 2009-2011 and helping to build collaborative relationships between ACSM and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) around nutrition, exercise and energy balance. She is also a registered dietitian (RD) and a Certified Specialist in Sport Dietetics (CSSD).

Dr. Manore’s Citation Award was one of six that were given this year. Other recipients include:

Adrian E. Bauman, MB.BS., M.P.H., Ph.D.
University of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

Susan A. Bloomfield, Ph.D., FACSM
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas

Rodney K. Dishman, Ph.D., FACSM
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia

Francis G. O’Connor, M.D., FACSM
Uniformed Services University, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine
Bethesda, Maryland

Margot Putukian, M.D., FACSM
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey

Find more information and view past recipients at http://www.acsm.org/find-continuing-education/awards-grants/honor-citation-awards.

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Spotlight on Phoenix: Health and Fitness in the Valley of the Sun

Today’s post takes a look at the metropolitan statistical area of Phoenix, Arizona; also known as the “Valley of the Sun”. Phoenix is the largest state capital in the country and the metropolitan area is the 14th largest by population. The city is divided into 15 urban villages each with their own unique character.

Phoenix ranked 32nd in the most recent ACSM American Fitness Index® () data report, which evaluates the 50 most populous city areas and identifies the healthiest and fittest places in the United States. The metro area earned a score of 45.3 (out of 100 possible points) in 2011, moving slightly down from a score of 47.4 in 2010, however the rank remains the same.

The study reports 82.6% of the population participated in physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days; 8% above the U.S. average. Accordingly, the city has a lower percent with angina or coronary heart disease and lower death rates for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Among the 50 largest metro areas, Phoenix has the highest percentage of residents with asthma (11.9%). Overall, the Valley of the Sun ranked 19th in personal health indicators.

However, the metro area ranked 44th in community/environmental indicators. The city boasts a decent amount of parkland as percent of city area, but falls behind in number of recreational facilities such as ball diamonds, playgrounds, golf courses, tennis courts, etc. In Arizona, the state only requires physical education classes at one level (among elementary, middle and high school). There are only 71.0 primary health care providers per 100,000 residents, way below the MSA average of 93.2.

The city struggles with poverty and unemployment, but has made strides since 2010. Due in part to high heat conditions, the city reports a lower percent using public transportation and biking to work.

For a complete list of Phoenix’s strengths and challenges, plus a breakdown of the components that helped make up its score, please visit the website and download the Phoenix report at www.americanfitnessindex.org/report.htm.

Phoenix skyline

Spotlight on Kansas City: Health and Fitness in the City of Fountains

Today’s post takes a look at the metropolitan statistical area of Kansas City, Mo. Notably, the city has more parks, golf courses, famer’s markets and ball diamonds per capita than any other state. To be exact, there are 214 urban parks, 152 ball diamonds, 10 community centers, 105 tennis courts, five golf courses, and 30 pools occupying the city’s 318 square miles.

Kansas City ranked 22nd in the most recent ACSM American Fitness Index® () data report, which evaluates the 50 most populous city areas and identifies the healthiest and fittest places in the United States. The metro area earned a score of 51.5 (out of 100 possible points) in 2011, moving up from a rank of 29th and a score of 47.9 in 2010.

The area ranked 25th on community/environmental indicators related to the built environment, recreational facilities, physical education requirements and primary health care providers. The study reports 59.3% of the population is in excellent or good health. However, Kansas City continues to struggle with the number of smokers as nearly 20% are currently smoking, down just 1% from 2010 and still above the country’s average.

Despite the larger number of farmer’s markets per capita and City Market, one of the largest and most stable public farmers’ markets in the Midwest, only 18.7% of residents report eating 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

The percentage of residents with chronic health concerns is relatively low and the community still places a strong commitment to physical education classes for the city’s youth. With an abundance of fitness facilities in the Kansas City area, it is only a matter of time before the city can improve it’s ranking.

For a complete list of the Kansas City’s strengths and challenges, plus a breakdown of the components that helped make up its score, please visit the website and download the Kansas City report at www.americanfitnessindex.org/report.htm.

Kansas City Skyline

Spotlight on Richmond, Va: Health and Fitness in One of America’s Oldest Cities

Today’s post takes a look at Richmond, the third largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in Virginia. The city of Richmond and its surrounding areas include a population of 1.2 million residents, six Fortune 500 companies, and countless historical monuments and museums.

Richmond took the number 12 spot in the 2011 data report with a total of 64.2 points (out of a possible 100). This ranking was down one spot from 2010. With an above average number of residents getting exercise in the last 30 days, a 5% increase in the number of residents eating five or more servings of vegetables and fruits each day, and a strong percentage (66%) reporting to be in excellent or very good health, it would appear that Richmond is making the right moves towards a healthier community.

On the other hand, Richmond experienced a nearly 4% increase in the number of reported smokers, an increase in residents categorized as obese, and an increase in the deaths per 100,000 from cardiovascular disease. Even with all that, the increase in healthy habits mentioned above, and the 6% increase in residents who are getting moderate physical activity, Richmond moved up a spot to 8th in personal health indicators related to chronic health problems and health care.

While Richmond scores in the top 10 on personal health indicators, it is in the top 20 according to the community and environment indicators. Almost every indicator used in this category stayed the same from the 2010 to 2011 data report with the exception of the number of farmer’s markets. This number nearly doubled from 4.9 per 100,000 residents in 2010 to 9.7 in this year’s report, indicating an increased propensity towards healthier eating. Richmond has the most tennis courts per 10,000 residents (6.9) among the 50 city areas measured in the data report.

For a complete list of Richmond’s strengths and challenges, plus a breakdown of the components that helped make up its score, please visit the website and download the Richmond report at www.americanfitnessindex.org/report.htm.

Richmond Skyline

Spotlight on Los Angeles: Health and Fitness in The City of Angels

Today’s post looks at Los Angeles and its surrounding areas including Long Beach and Santa Ana. It is a city that promises new life, hope, fame and fortune to many looking to move west.

Los Angeles ranked 41st in the most recent ACSM American Fitness Index® () data report, which evaluates the 50 most populous city areas and identifies the healthiest and fittest places in the United States. L.A. earned a score of 39.1 (out of 100 possible points) in 2011, moving down from a rank of 38th and a score of 40.5 in 2010.

Los Angeles ranked 30th with a score of 44.8 on personal health indicators related to health behaviors, chronic health problems and health care. The City of Angels has a fairly low percentage of smokers (11.2%) compared to the national average of 17.9%. The percent of people getting exercise or doing physical activities within the last 30 days (77.8%) is only 1.6% higher than the national average, however, this is a 3.2% increase from the previous report in 2010. Los Angelinos fall at the low end of communities in which residents report being in excellent or very good health (48.8%, just a few points above the MSA low of 46.4%.

The city ranked 45th on community/environmental indicators related to the built environment, recreational facilities, park-related expenditures, physical education requirements and primary health care providers with a score of 33.9 out of 100 possible points. The metro area scored poorly in the number of recreational facilities per capita.

Despite its average scores on built environment indicators, the city has witnessed a propensity toward Smart Growth planning principles. Walk Score recently gave Los Angeles a score of 95 out of 100 and called it a “Walkers Paradise”. This is important because it lends to the physical and financial health of the residents and businesses in the community.

For a complete list of the L.A.’s strengths and challenges, plus a breakdown of the components that helped make up its score, please visit the website and download the Los Angeles report at www.americanfitnessindex.org/report.htm.

Spotlight on Jacksonville: Health and Fitness in Florida’s Largest Metro Area

Today’s post takes a look at the metropolitan statistical area of Jacksonville, Fla., inclusive of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. Jacksonville is the largest city by land area in the contiguous United States and boasts one of the largest urban park systems in the country.

Jacksonville ranked 31st in the most recent ACSM American Fitness Index® () data report, which evaluates the 50 most populous city areas and identifies the healthiest and fittest places in the United States. The metro area earned a score of 46.7 (out of 100 possible points) in 2011, dropping it into the lower half of ranked areas, from a rank of 24th and a score of 51.2 in 2010.

Florida’s largest metro area ranked 36th on personal health indicators related to health behaviors, chronic health problems and health care.

While Jacksonville fell near average in categories related to physical activity, it combined a much higher than average percentage of smokers (21.3%) with a lower than average percentage of people eating 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables per day (20.5%), indicating fair health behaviors for the area.

Additionally, Jacksonville residents ranked average in most areas related to chronic health problems, had higher percentages of diabetics and deaths related to diabetes.

The area ranked 28th on community/environmental indicators related to the built environment, recreational facilities, park-related expenditures, physical education requirements and primary health care providers.

Jacksonville’s greatest asset to its built environment is its parkland acreage at 57.2 acres per capita, it ranks much higher than the MSA average of 18.9 acres per capita. Furthermore, the metro area’s recreational facilities ranked higher than the MSA average in categories including ball diamonds, park playgrounds, park units, recreation centers and swimming pools.

Moreover, Jacksonville residents have the advantage of a number of natural resources including miles of beaches, waterways, and preservation lands.

For a complete list of the Jacksonville’s strengths and challenges, plus a breakdown of the components that helped make up its score, please visit the website and download the Jacksonville report at https://americanfitnessindex.org/report2.htm.