NEW: Rhode Island Has One of the Healthiest Cities in the US
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The ACSM has named Providence #19 of America's Top 20 Healthiest Cities, in a report just released. Among the three New England cities ranked by the ACSM, Providence placed third to Hartford at #7 and Boston at #3. This new honor comes on the heels of Providence being named America's #5 Healthiest City for Families by Parents Magazine.
A health and fitness snapshot
Taking what they call "a scientific snapshot of the state of health and fitness at the metropolitan level," the ACSM's American Fitness Index (AFI) assesses and ranks the country's largest 50 metropolitan areas.
The elements of the AFI assessment reflect a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access, as well as community resources and policies that support physical activity. For more on the AFI, go here.
Personal versus community health
Providence's #19 ranking represents a combination of both those personal and community factors. On solely personal health indicators, the metropolitan area ranked #23 in the country, with Boston at #6 and Hartford at #8.
On community health indicators, the Capital City ranked much better on a national scale at #13, but still behind #7 Boston and #12 Hartford.
The ACSM's American Fitness Index delivered Providence's ranking at #19 based on numerous strengths, including:
- Lower death rate for diabetes
- More farmers' markets per capita
- Higher percent bicycling or walking to work
- More ball diamonds per capita
- More dog parks per capita
- More park playgrounds per capita
- More golf courses per capita
- More park units per capita
- More swimming pools per capita
- Lower percentage of households below poverty level
- Higher level of state requirement for Physical Education classes
Room for improvement
Where Providence lacked, according to the ACSM, was in the following areas:
- Higher percent with asthma
- Higher percent with angina or coronary heart disease
- Fewer acres of parkland per capita
- Lower percent using public transportation to work
- Fewer tennis courts per capita
- Lower park-related expenditures per capita
For the full report, go here.
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