Pittsburgh ranks as 16th fittest city in U.S.

Jeff Himler

Published May 16, 2019


Good work … or should we say good workout, Pittsburgh.

The Steel City ranked as the 16th fittest major U.S. city, according to the 2019 American Fitness Indexreleased this week by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.

Pittsburgh rose markedly in the rankings from last year’s report, which listed it in 36th place overall.

Arlington, Va., made a repeat appearance in the No. 1 spot, with Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Madison, Wis., rounding out the Top 5.

Oklahoma City once again claimed the 100th and last place, ranking just below North Las Vegas, with Las Vegas proper coming in at No. 85.

The index examines 33 health behaviors, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators. An average of 30.3% of residents in all 100 cities were diagnosed with high blood pressure, 3.3% with heart disease and 2.9% with a stroke.

New indicators that were added to the mix this year include pedestrian fatalities, air quality and bike-ability.

• There were 2.2 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents on average across all 100 cities. The worst city, St. Louis, reported 5.8 pedestrian deaths per 100,000; Pittsburgh is at 1.2 deaths.

• Cities have poor air quality an average 38.3% of the year. Pittsburgh scored 44.1 points out of 100 for its air quality, compared to the average score of 61.7 among the 100 cities.

• Pittsburgh ranked 6th for the portion of the population that walks or bikes to work — behind Washington, D.C., at No. 1, followed by Boston, San Francisco, Madison and Seattle.

• Pittsburgh was awarded ninth place for farmers markets, with 36.4 markets per million residents. D.C. was No. 1, with 82.1 per million.

The ACSM has posted an interactive tool for comparing scores among cities. It notes the index scores are intended to provide cities with “the data and resources needed to drive healthy change.”

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