Bostonians are among the healthiest of Americans — at least not according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index.
In fact, Boston ranked fourth out of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas in terms of fitness, according to the report, which was produced in partnership with the WellPoint Foundation.
The snapshot of the state of health and fitness is a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, access to health care, as well as community resources and policies that support physical activity, according to a news release.
The Boston metropolitan statistical area scored 71. By comparison, the top scorer was Washington, D.C., scored 74.4.
In addition to a data report, the fitness index is a program designed to help communities identify opportunities to improve the health of their residents and expand community assets to better support active, healthy lifestyles, the release said.
Among the Boston-area’s strengths:
- Higher percent in excellent or very good health
- Lower percent obese
- Lower percent currently smoking
The area’s challenges included:
- Higher percent with asthma
- Fewer acres of parkland per capita
- Fewer dog parks per capita