June 1, 2013

Northern California: Fit, healthy & wealthy

130531-afi-top10The American College of Sports Medicine has released their annual American Fitness Index, and we’ve got three spots in the top ten.  You can check out lots of details over on their site, but here’s the the ten fittest metros (out of 50) on their list.

Notice who isn’t here? That’s right, New York City.  They’re a practically dead-average #24 out of 50.  The least healthy and fit metro? Oklahoma City.

San Jose metro (Santa Clara and San Benito County), as all the metros, was given a list of Strengths and Challenges in the fitness and health department.  It seems we’re good at some aspects of healthy living (good eating, fewer obese people, lots of biking to work) but we’re failling down with all the asthma and diabetes sufferers, not to mention all the loons living here. Also we’re low on some of the dedicated sports areas per capita, no doubt because they’d be better off as residential property (sheesh, anyone knows that).

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Again, you can feel free to peruse the website, because it has all kinds of interesting stuff on how they made their list. But the reason we’re calling the list out in the first place isn’t just because we have three cities in the Top 10.

It’s because somebody’s pulled a Burbed and decided to critique how this list was made.  Even better, the complaining site is one we’ve previously called out for not including San Jose metro on their own lists.

Updated: Nope, that was actually Travel & Leisure.

The basic complaints are that too many of the indicators that produce the index tend to line up with who has the money. The above Top 10 has a high correlation with household income.

130531-afi-appsorsAnd the bitchfest goes on: there are too many indicators and they end up reinforcing each other.  Worse, some of the Community Health numbers are for how many facilities are in the city limits, rather than the larger metro areas. Yes, this is an actual case of mixing apples and oranges, which is actually a reasonably healthy thing to do.

Finally, our critic notes that this sort of data doesn’t change much, so creating an annual list sort of defeats the point. Minneapolis has gotten #1 for the last 3 years.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

2 Responses to “Northern California: Fit, healthy & wealthy”

  1. DreamT Says:

    San Jose metro definitely does not have enough swimming pools per capita. You shouldn’t have to pay YMCA membership for the privilege to peruse a year-round covered swimming pool. Or drive to Palo Alto’s Betty Wright. Or (in Santa Clara’s case) be a senior. Nonsense all around.

  2. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > You shouldn’t have to pay YMCA membership for the privilege to peruse a year-round covered swimming pool.

    Life is hard.


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