What Makes Arlington, Virginia the Fittest City in America?

arlington virginia at sunset

The American Fitness Index scores the country’s 100 largest cities (based on population) on 34 indicators of health. These indicators are broken into two categories: personal health, which measures the health of residents in the community, and community/environment, which measures both efforts that are undertaken by local authorities to promote health and fitness and the scale to which the environment promotes healthy behaviors. Arlington, VA earned the #1 overall ranking in the 2021 ACSM American Fitness Index with a score of 86.1 out of a possible 100. This is the 4th consecutive year that Arlington has been named the “Fittest City in America.”

 

What makes Arlington so fit?

Arlington ranked first in both the personal health and community/environment sub-scores. At the individual indicator level, Arlington ranked among the top 10 cities for 18 of the 34 indicators in the Fitness Index, with eight indicators ranked #1.

Arlington was ranked #1 for the following indicators:

  • Lowest percentage of residents with angina or coronary heart disease (.3%)
  • Lowest percentage of residents who smoke (3.5%)
  • Lowest percentage of residents with high blood pressure (15.2%)
  • Lowest percentage of residents experiencing food insecurity (6.7%)
  • Lowest percentage of residents with diabetes (4.2%)
  • Lowest percentage of residents with poor physical health in the previous month (24.1%)
  • Highest percentage of residents in excellent or very good health (66.9%)
  • Highest percentage of residents exercising in the previous month (85.7%)

Arlington ranked in the top 10 for the following indicators:

  • Percentage of residents who use public transportation to go to work
  • Percentage of residents who consume 2+ fruits per day
  • Percentage of residents who sleep 7+ hours per day
  • Percentage of residents with poor metal health (lowest)
  • Percentage of residents with obesity (lowest)
  • Percentage of residents who have experienced a stroke (lowest)
  • Bike Score
  • Percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk to a park
  • Number of tennis courts per 10,000 residents

See how the 99 other ranked cities compare to Arlington using the City Comparison Tool.

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