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  1. #1
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    The Most and Least Active Cities in America

    Men's Health Magazine: The Most and Least Active Cities in America

    By Laura Roberson
    Posted Date: June 20, 2011

    Summer is the season for kicking back and doing nothing, which means it's always summer in Lexington, Kentucky. In fact, folks there didn't need to lift a finger to be named America's Most Sedentary City, since movement of any kind means you're not a committed couch potato.

    Now, we don't doubt the Lexington work ethic—it's the workout ethic we question. We looked at where and how often people exercise (Experian Marketing Services); the percentage of households that watch more than 15 hours of cable a week and buy more than 11 video games a year (Mediamark Research); and the rate of deaths from deep-vein thrombosis, a condition linked to a lot of sitting (CDC). And since some people define "exercise" loosely, we gave credit for any physical activity in the past month (CDC).
    Most active cities:
    1) Seattle, WA (A+)
    2) San Francisco, CA (A+)
    3) Oakland, CA (A)
    4) District of Columbia (A)
    5) Salt Lake City, UT (A-)
    6) Reno, NV (A-)
    7) Portland, ME (A-)
    8) Atlanta, GA (A-)
    9) Denver, CO (A-)
    10) Minneapolis, MN (A-)

    (click the link above for the cities banked in between)

    Least active cities:
    91) Birmingham, AL (F)
    92) Laredo, TX (F)
    93) Nashville, TN (F)
    94) Little Rock, AR (F)
    95) Tulsa, OK (F)
    96) Oklahoma City, OK (F)
    97) Charleston, WV (F)
    98) Jackson, MS (F)
    99) Indianapolis, IN (F)
    100) Lexington, KY (F)

  2. #2

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    I was just in Seattle and San Francisco last week, and my parents and I both noticed that the percentage of overweight people there was very, very low.

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    I'm not sure I like the criteria. Rating a city as active/inactive by the number of video games they buy?!

    Also, I wonder how they define exercise. People in New York and Boston get a lot of exercise simply because they take public transportation. It's not vigorous exercise and not done for the sake of physical activity, but a little every day makes a big difference in the long run. I rarely see very obese people in New York. Plenty of mildly to moderately overweight, but few very obese people. I almost never saw a very obese person in Boston.

    Michelle Obama has picked a fantastic cause to champion, and she's a great role model for it.

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    Why 15 hours of Cable television? More than 10 hours per week of any television is

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I was just in Seattle and San Francisco last week, and my parents and I both noticed that the percentage of overweight people there was very, very low.
    It's all the hills

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho
    I'm not sure I like the criteria. Rating a city as active/inactive by the number of video games they buy?!
    what if they bought Dance Dance Revolution or whatever it's called?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmscfdcsu View Post
    Why 15 hours of Cable television? More than 10 hours per week of any television is
    But I routinely waste as much time on FSU

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    I have no idea how many hours a week my TV is on (basically, if I'm in the house and I don't have company, it is) but that has no bearing on what I'm doing. (In fact if I'm on the eliptical the TV must be on, because I can't hold a book and use it at the same time.) Also, a lot of those bottom cities are ones where if you don't drive, you're not getting anywhere, so I would bet some lack of walking is just where are you going to walk to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    It's all the hills
    and running to move your car to another spot so you don't get a parking ticket!

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    ...and those cities in the bottom of the list are ungodly hot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    ...and those cities in the bottom of the list are ungodly hot.
    Only in the summer. They're quite nice in the winter.

    Minneapolis has awful weather practically all year, yet they're among the most active. (I still don't buy the criteria, but going along with it). I wonder if active includes shoveling snow?

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    Two experiences in Birmingham when staying over there one time:

    1--I asked at the hotel desk if there was anywhere to eat in walking distance and the guy said "oh, you don't want to walk, lots of places will deliver!"

    2--I walked anyway to a Subway at a strip mall about three blocks down. The people there were confused as to how to make a 6 inch sub and felt that I would be dying of hunger if I at least didn't add double meat to it.

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    I'm kind of surprised to see D.C. on the list of most actives. You definitely see a good amount of heavy people around town. Just look at members of Congress, (except for the shirtless Congressman that was on the cover of Men Health a few months ago)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    But I routinely waste as much time on FSU
    That involves much more brain power. Television is the most passive activity out there.

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    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmscfdcsu View Post
    That involves much more brain power. Television is the most passive activity out there.
    which has nothing to do with the topic, which is physical activity.
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    I live in number 90. I can see evidence of it in almost every direction.

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    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    I'm surprised Portland OR isn't higher than 15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    ...and those cities in the bottom of the list are ungodly hot.
    I'm sure weather becomes a factor, but San Francisco and Seattle are both very rainy cities. They are, however, also both highly walkable cities with great parks and hiking.

    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I was just in Seattle and San Francisco last week, and my parents and I both noticed that the percentage of overweight people there was very, very low.
    I think the food cultures in both cities are very different from the cities at the bottom of the list. Fried food isn't very big in Seattle or San Francisco. I don't think I've ever lived in a city that has as few chain fast food places as San Francisco does. There's lots of healthier take-out and restaurant options, small produce shops and farmers markets all over the city, and people just tend to eat healthier food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    I'm sure weather becomes a factor, but San Francisco and Seattle are both very rainy cities. They are, however, also both highly walkable cities with great parks and hiking.



    I think the food cultures in both cities are very different from the cities at the bottom of the list. Fried food isn't very big in Seattle or San Francisco. I don't think I've ever lived in a city that has as few chain fast food places as San Francisco does. There's lots of healthier take-out and restaurant options, small produce shops and farmers markets all over the city, and people just tend to eat healthier food.

    More things in the South are fried, just for the sake of being fried. It's ingrained in the public mindset.

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    I've noticed in a lot of new development, and I've especially noticed this in the newer developed areas of the south, there's no way to walk - there are no sidewalks. In the part of Florida where my dad lives, you'd take your life into your hands to walk any distance from his house, due to traffic and lack of sidewalks.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    Only in the summer. They're quite nice in the winter.

    Lexington is quite nice in the winter???? That's news to me.

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