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Chicago ranks 27th in health and fitness, according to new report

May 29, 2013|By JoVona Taylor | RedEye

Compared to the health and fitness status of other big cities, Chicago falls somewhere in the middle.

The city ranked 27th on the American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index, an annual report on the health and community fitness status of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

In the previous year’s report, Chicago ranked 28th amongst the same 50 cities, which shows the city’s health and fitness initiatives are improving.

The report evaluates four areas of health and fitness--preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access and community resources, and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles--in order to determine a score for each city.

The Chicago area, combined with Joliet and Naperville, scored a 50.8 out of 100 possible points in the 2013 report, which is more than 20 points behind Minneapolis-St. Paul, the top-ranked city for the third consecutive year, with a score of 76.4.

The detailed AFI for Chicago shows that the city ranked 34th on personal health indicators related to health behaviors, chronic health conditions and health care access, and 18th on community/environmental indicators related to the built environment, recreational facilities, park-related expenditures, physical education requirements and primary health care providers.

Walter Thompson, chair of the AFI advisory board, said in a press release the AFI has been issued each year since its start in 2008 in order to help health advocates and community leaders improve the quality of life in the cities where they are located.

“As urban areas attract more and more residents, it’s imperative for cities to create a built environment, fund amenities and form policies that get residents active and encourage healthy lifestyles,” he said.

More information on the report, including the ranks of other cities, can be found at the AFI website.

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