These cities exemplify what it means to foster an accessible, fitness-friendly community for all their residents.
More than ever before, this past year has made Americans appreciate the opportunity to go outside and get moving, when socially distant and possible. Since gyms have shut down or are operating at a lower capacity, going for a walk and exercising outdoors have become increasingly appealing ways to work out. Any chance to get outside nowadays is a welcome treat, especially when being outdoors can boost endorphins and improve our overall wellbeing.
It’s easier to take advantage of the outdoors when living in a city that prioritizes the accessibility and maintenance of its recreational facilities and public parks. Investing in parks and providing outdoor spaces for public recreation is as much an investment in residents’ health and wellbeing. To honor the communities that have shown a commitment to the health and wellness of their residents, the data scientists at Insurify crunched the numbers to identify the most fitness-friendly cities in each state.
Selection Process for Insurify’s 2021 Fittest Cities Awards
The data scientists at Insurify, a platform to compare home insurance, referred to both proprietary and public data to identify the fittest cities. They rated U.S. cities based on a composite score of factors including residents with physically demanding or health- and fitness-promoting jobs as well as quality and access to parks and outdoor recreational facilities.
Insurify’s data scientists referred to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to identify the cities with the highest proportion of residents with occupations that demand significant physical activity or promote health and fitness, ranging from park rangers, fitness club managers, and chiropractors, to dancers and choreographers.
To evaluate access to outdoor facilities and recreational spaces, Insurify’s team compiled data from Niche’s most recent Outdoor Activities rankings, which rates each city on its quality and access to the outdoors using key indicators of a location’s environment, such as air quality, local weather, and access to natural amenities and outdoor recreation. Also factored into the composite scores were, the Trust for Public Land’s Parkscore Rankings, which identify the cities with the highest proportion of residents living within a 10-minute walk to a park.
Gyms were not included in this study. Not only are gyms often inaccessible to lower-income residents, but many gyms have been operating at a minimal, or even completely shut down capacity over the past year due to COVID-19.
Fittest Cities in the US
These are the cities in each state that support accessible, fitness-friendly communities for their residents in 2021, based on their share of residents with physically demanding or health- and fitness-promoting jobs as well as quality and access to parks and outdoor recreational facilities.
Winners of Insurify’s 2021 Fittest Cities Awards
Arkansas: Little Rock
California: San Diego
Louisiana: New Orleans
Missouri: Kansas City
New Hampshire: Nashua
New Jersey: Vineland
New Mexico: Albuquerque
New York: New York City
North Carolina: Raleigh
North Dakota: Bismarck
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
Rhode Island: Warwick
South Carolina: Westminster
South Dakota: Sioux Falls
West Virginia: Youngstown
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