Inside Indiana Business
INDIANAPOLIS – The cities of Indianapolis and Fort Wayne are ranked among the least fit cities in America, according to a report from the American College of Sports Medicine. The American Fitness Index Report evaluated the 100 largest cities in the country on more than 30 health behaviors, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators.
Dr. NiCole Keith, president of the ACSM and research scientist at the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, says the data used to create the index rankings are factors that contribute to opportunities for overall health.
“Health isn’t just about visiting the doctor; it’s about not smoking, being physically active, having access to green space and healthy foods, and so much more,” said Keith. “This index gives city leaders an in-depth look at where they can improve policy and the resulting public transportation and accommodations for safe biking and walking to build healthier communities.”
Some of the factors measured for the ranking include obesity rates, exercise rates, air quality and access to parks. Fort Wayne comes in at No. 92 on the list, followed by Indianapolis at No. 94.
The ACSM says Indy ranked worse than the average in nearly every category, though it still improved its ranking from 2019 when it came it at No. 96. Some of the categories where it showed improvement include the percentage of people in excellent or very good health, smoking rate, and bike score.
“People in Indianapolis need to participate in more physical activity,” said Keith. “It prevents disease, improves overall health and makes you feel better both physically and mentally. More opportunities for exercise means an increase in the number of nearby parks and better prospects for safe physical activities that can be incorporated into the rhythm of everyone’s day – such as walking.
Fort Wayne’s ranking is worse than last year, when it came in at No. 86.
The top five most fit cities in the report include Arlington, Virginia; Seattle, Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Madison, Wisconsin; San Francisco, California.