Top 15 fittest cities in America

Published: Wednesday, June 1 2011 2:20 p.m. MDT

#15 - Salt Lake City, UT Next » 1 of 15 « Prev
Ray Boren, For Deseret News
Boasting lower unemployment percentages and a higher percent of physically active people, at least at a moderate level, Salt Lake City ranks number 15. The state requirements for Physical Education classes are on a higher level in Salt Lake City and there is also a higher percentage of people who bicycle or walk to work.

An increased amount of dog parks, golf courses, tennis courts and park playgrounds, add to the healthy environment in Salt Lake City. Fewer residents are smoking and experience lower percentages of angina or coronary heart disease and diabetes.

There is a higher percent of people who experience days when mental health was not good during the past 30 days in Salt Lake City. Also, there are fewer farmers' markets, ball diamonds and swimming pools per capita, as well as lower park-related expenditures per capita.
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West Valley, UT

This is so odd.

SLC has some of the worst air pollution and is among the most stressed cities in the nation, yet apparently we're very fit.

Just goes to show you can't always trust statistics.

Bakersfield, CA

SLC is great. Don't project your problems on the city. Enjoy the positive attention once.

salt lake city, utah

Delta- Actually, our quality of air is very good most of the year.....

Central, Utah

Re Delta Foxtrot -

We agree that statistics and their interpretion don't always agree. I wouldn't want to live in any big city, but I have been forced to live on serveral of the list. By my personal preference Salt Lake would have ranked higher and others lower. Some would be dropped off my list completely,

Denver certainly ranks higher than Minneapolis for me etc. For me a number of smaller towns out away from the big cities would be at the top of my list. Detroit & Washington DC might be down towards the bottom of the list!

Then again, most communities are what their citizens make them and we should each provide some service to make our community a better place to live. WOW what a concept, if each of us would spend 2 Saturday morning a month as a volunteer helping make OUR community better.

Sandy, UT

Minneapolis has fewer swimming pools? That's probably because it only has about a month of summer. The rest of the year is freezing cold. Great city though. Just very, very cold in the winter.

Beaverton, OR

#4 - Portland, Oregon "Portland residents have a lower percent of households which fall below the poverty level." They also have a lower percentage of households with children or married adults. Most co-habitate. They also have converted many of the lanes of the streets in Portland to include bike lanes, even taking over those lanes for mass transit.

Outside of Portland city limits, there are wonderful hiking and biking trails, all within an hour's time of city center. The outlying cities have great park and recreation departments, so much so that nearly 1/3 of the property taxes are for park and rec fees.

Those are just some of the reasons why Portland ranked so high.

Ivins, UT

Portland may be Beautiful and Green, but who can take 10 months of continual rain? There are months at a time where you dont see the sun.
People are large and pale in Portland.. Cant see how its seen as a place of healthy people. Im one that belives you need sun to be and feel healthy.

Minneapolis? Yuck, you will freeze there too.

Im really surprised San Diego isn't rated higher.

SJ Bobkins
Gilbert, AZ

What a complete joke, No mention of the "lead poisoning" problem in DC or pollution is most of the rated cities. If you have parks, and dog walks, your city is high on the list. If you have a younger population, its even higher.

Layton, UT

Ever driven in Washington DC or Boston? Most healthy?! Someone forgot to include the stress of commuting.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Salt Lake City was the only Conservative/Republican city to barely crack the top 15 with #15.

As bad as some what to believe it, we're not #1 in a lot of good things -- and are #1 in quite a number of bad ones.


Dear Delta,
Does your cut on statistics include the ones that call us among the most stressed and having some of the worst air quality?
People can stay fit in spite of minor obstacles--just get outside and play! In my 2.5 years here, I've seen more people conscious of their health, walking, hiking, biking, etc--that's what makes us fit. Fitness is also preventive medicine and should be a cornerstone of Obamacare--or any other health or medical program.

Herriman, UT

I have seen a lot of portly people in our valley....man, there must be a lot of folks who are fairly fit that I don't see on a regular basis. Yes, I need to get out a lot more!

DD JayMario
American Fork, UT

SLC should be ranked first on this list given the low rates of smoking and drinking. However, ice cream consumption and lack of exercise among so many of us drops us down the list. We all should do some soul searching about our own health, because the government won't be there to help us in the future.

Belching Cow
Sandy, UT

I love living in Utah, best place I have lived by far. Everyone I know that loves outdoor recreation likes Utah. Actually surprised SLC is not higher on the list but the study seemed kind of hokey anyway. What does dog parks have to do with being fit? Or number of people taking public transit?

Buckeye, AZ

Oh this is great comedy!! Thanks for the chuckle!!

Buckeye, AZ

>>>The low level of state requirements for Physical Education classes and the lower percent of city land area used for parkland creates health challenges for Denver.

Those are actually PLUS'es in Denver's favor -- if the kiddos can stay healthy and active in spite of the lower PE requirements, and less officially designated (aka government-paid) parkland, then more power to them!

Not to mention living a mile high- your LUNGS can't afford for you to smoke!

And what's this about mental health days??? How the heck is that measured??? (probably where the stressful commutes figures in)

Dog parks- the dogs get to walk their humans, so they're not couch potatoes (at that moment anyway).

And yeah, I'm sure Seattle and Minneapolis don't consider their lack of swimming pools a great loss either!

Like I said, this is comedy, thanks for the laugh!

SLC gal
Salt Lake City, UT

San Diego got knocked becuase they don't offer enough swimming pools. Yes, I suppose more swimming pools should be mandatory in a city where all you have to do is walk a block and you're at the Pacific Ocean.

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