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ACSM: Minneapolis-St. Paul Tops 2013 U.S. Fitness Index
As in 2012, Minneapolis-St. Paul tops rankings; Washington, D.C., second; Oklahoma City last

WEDNESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington has the top ranking in the American Fitness Index (AFI) data report for the third consecutive year. The report, "Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas" is being presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, held from May 28 to June 1 in Indianapolis.

Using data from the U.S. Census and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the Trust for the Public Land City Park Facts, and other existing data, researchers assessed the infrastructure, community assets, and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles in the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. Data included personal health indicators as well as community and environmental indicators.

The researchers note that Minneapolis-St. Paul was at the top of the rankings for the third consecutive year, with 78.2 points, up from 76.4 in 2012. Washington, D.C., was in second place for the second consecutive year and Oklahoma City was last for the second consecutive year.

"We have issued the American Fitness Index each year since 2008 to help health advocates and community leader advocates improve the quality of life in their hometowns," Walter Thompson, Ph.D., chair of the AFI Advisory Board, said in a statement. "As urban areas attract more and more residents, it's imperative for cities to create a built environment, fund amenities, and form policies that get residents active and encourage healthy lifestyles."

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