The annual list of the best US cities, released today, tracks some of the cities that weathered COVID-19 better but also the opposite is valid as well. The ranking highlights how cities can support or impede the incentives for people to be physically active, lose weight and prevent medical diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart disease, which raises the risk of serious disease and COVID-19 death.
The COVID-19 death rate is 56 per 100,000 population for Arlington, Virginia, the nation’s best-fitted city for the third year in a row. Much like other Washington, D.C. Arlington’s suburbs had more per capita cases than more rural areas of the state. Indiana’s Marion County, which contains 94th-ranked Indianapolis, has the state’s largest number of cases and deaths.
The 2020 ACSM American Fitness Index ranks cities that promote healthy living based on good community wellness and services. Populations living in near-top cities are likely to have less chronic disorders of health that raise the risk of COVID-19 serious disease and death.
While exercise can help individuals fend off some of the more harmful effects of the virus, other factors play a major role in the way a community is susceptible. Public health marketing, social distance, mass transit usage and an average number of people in a household all play a role in a city, Dr Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease doctor, said.
The index, co-sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation, uses 33 population health, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators to generate scores that rank the health of communities as well as those living within them. City officials and planners, experts suggest, need to enact strategies and prioritize spending to encourage physical activity, improved health and healthier neighbourhoods. That’s especially true in places with large Black and Hispanic populations, as COVID-19 has disproportionately affected them, said Nicole Keith, the new president of ACSM.
Just one in four Americans meet national guidelines for physical activity and more than 30 million people have been diagnosed with heart disease, Ainsworth said, adding it should be “national concern.”
Sedentary lifestyles around the country have cost health costs in excess of $117 billion a year, Ainsworth said.
Although the results included many bright points, researchers found just 22 per cent of adults in the 100 largest cities met the recommendations for both aerobic and force activities. With significant health benefits, adults require 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, or approximately 22 minutes per day.
On more COVID-19 positive notes:
People have exercised more in all 100 cities, biked more, smoked less. Also, this year there were more parks within a 10-minute walk compared to last. Buffalo, New York (now No. 25); Toledo, Ohio (No. 81); and Anchorage, Alaska (No. 37) boosted some cities by at least 15 spots from 2019.
While ranked 67th, ACSM credits the work of Charlotte’s business and community leaders. They have done since 2013 to promote healthy food. Thus, physical activity, and tobacco use reduction — all three metrics of the Fitness Index. This also cited chronic disease prevention programs by the Mecklenburg County Parks. Also, Recreation Department addressing physical activity, obesity, tobacco use, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu set a target for the town to be one of the top ten in the U.S. Among others, the city’s ambitious Fit NOLA program focuses on healthy food, physical activity and tobacco use. Currently, the city ranks 50th. In its 13th year, the index now ranks cities rather than whole metropolitan areas. It is to better capture the true health disparities seen in urban areas. The health problems facing people with low incomes in cities have been balanced by cleaner suburbs, Keith said.
The town has developed trails in Indianapolis, where Keith lives, creating green spaces and increasing the number of farmers ‘ markets. People make healthier choices easier, Keith said. When parks and other leisure facilities are open to the public. She works out at 3 p.m. per day. At a nearby School.
Natasha Burke, a Fordham University assistant psychology professor specializing in obesity and eating disorders. Also, said city members ought to collaborate with underserved communities. This is to find wellness options that can make them more involved.