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The Most and Least Active Cities in America

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Aaron W, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Aaron W

    Aaron W Well-Known Member

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

    By Laura Roberson
    Posted Date: June 20, 2011

    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. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    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.
  3. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    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.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  4. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

    Why 15 hours of Cable television?:confused: More than 10 hours per week of any television is :eek: :scream: :eek: :scream:
  5. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    It's all the hills :lol:

    what if they bought Dance Dance Revolution or whatever it's called? :p
    Wiery and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    But I routinely waste as much time on FSU :shuffle:
  7. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    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?
    KatieC and (deleted member) like this.
  8. myhoneyhoney

    myhoneyhoney Well-Known Member

    and running to move your car to another spot so you don't get a parking ticket! :D
    jamesy and (deleted member) like this.
  9. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

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

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    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? :)
  11. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    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, :lol: (except for the shirtless Congressman that was on the cover of Men Health a few months ago)
  13. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

    That involves much more brain power. Television is the most passive activity out there.
  14. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    which has nothing to do with the topic, which is physical activity.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  15. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

    I live in number 90. I can see evidence of it in almost every direction.
  16. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    I'm surprised Portland OR isn't higher than 15
  17. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member


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

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    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.
  20. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member


    Lexington is quite nice in the winter???? That's news to me. :lol:
    rfisher and (deleted member) like this.
  21. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

    Same for Oklahoma City. :confused:
  22. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Indeed. My sister lives in SF and in order to get to her apartment, she has to walk up a ton of stairs as well. No elevator. :lol:

    The lack of space may also be a factor. When everything is more narrow, it's simply more inconvenient to be fat. Where I live, the "garage" is so small that you CANNOT be fat and be able to get out of your car once you've parked. Even I have trouble sometimes and I don't weigh enough to give blood. :rofl: Of course, depends on the size of the car - I have a Civic and if one wanted to park a SmartCar there, you'd definitely have more leeway in your girth. :p
  23. Beefcake

    Beefcake Guest

    Pfffft, don't pretend ya didn't know that it's a damn national LAW that Portland must be atop any "Best of" list! :2faced:

    No matter how insignificant ... it's probably winning "best city for prettiest garden gnomes" as I type.

    But, seriously, this type of study (or poll or whatever it is) give a loose idea about reality, but we all know that they also tend to be random in their criteria ... and tend to ebb and flow according to city and regional perception and reputation.

    ((( Indianapolis )))
  24. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    Well, except that they're not here :lol:

    Seattle is!!! :cheer2:
  25. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    I think it depends on what you mean by SF. If you only include the city, you get more rain, but significantly less than Seattle (average 20 in. for SF, 30-ish for Seattle). But if you are talking about the entire metropolitan area, then it's not really that rainy. And most of the rain happens during the rainy season. So, for example, the triathlon season runs April through Sept but there are races as early as Feb and as late as Oct. Rain is rarely a factor on race day.

    What I find odd is that SF and Oakland -- two metropolitan areas that bump into each other are 2&3 but San Jose, the 3rd metropolitan area that also bumps up against SF and Oakland, isn't even in the top 10, but is down in 17. I can assure you that the entire area has pretty much the same level of physical activity. In fact, I see more biking in San Jose than SF because it's so hilly in SF and also biking is more dangerous.
  26. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    This is a huge problem. There are many places where you can't walk because of safety, either traffic safety or neighborhood safety.

    The level of physical activity has a lot to do with urban planning and infrastructure. When successful, you increase physical activity without conscious effort. New Yorkers don't tend to walk for exercise. They walk to get places. When you're scurrying to work in the morning, the fact that you're exercising doesn't even cross your mind.

    Seattle yes, but San Francisco is only rainy during one season. Otherwise, San Francisco has some of the best weather anywhere in the world.

    But people in San Jose watch more TV and buy more video games, and that's apparently a measure of physical activity :p

    Compared to several places on the most active list, it's very nice.

    I disagree. More things in the South are fried because fried tastes good! :D
  27. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    Seattle's reputation for rain in a little overstated. Buffalo is the rainiest city in the US in terms of days of average rainfall. Even Cleveland averages more rainy days in a year than Seattle--156 to 154.

    Then there's the fact that it when it rains in Seattle, it's more of a drizzle than a downpour, which is why Seattle doesn't even come close to being one of the cities with the most rainfall.
  28. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    That's probably the difference. Being that SJ includes Silicon Valley. I couldn't figure out how each city got it's score though from reading the article.

    Anyway, it's dumb. The whole area is pretty much equally active.
  29. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

    People argue here about which fat tastes better: bacon or butter. And exercise is walking from the car to the train. Maybe I should move!!
  30. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

    Except it was completely sunny and 82 degrees here today. :D We had a tough winter, but this week (and hopefully the rest of the summer) is shaping up to be gorgeous!

    ETA: I think Minneapolis/St. Paul is also helped by the high number of people who bike around here: "Minneapolis named #1 bike-friendly city"