HealthBeat

HealthBeat

Portland-metro area third fittest in country

When it comes to physical fitness, Portland wins the competition for Northwest cities.

Portland was ranked the third-fittest city in the country in the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual American Fitness Index. Seattle came in at No. 7.

The list is based on federal data which compares data from 50 major metropolitan areas based on four categories: chronic health problems, health behaviors, physical environments and recreational facilities.

Clark County was included in the Portland-metro area, as were Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill and Skamania counties.

In the personal health indicators category (chronic health problems and health behaviors), the Portland-metro area ranked 11th with a score of 69.5.

Among the highlights:

-85 percent of people have had some physical exercise in the last 30 days.

-35 percent consume two or more servings of fruits per day.

-20 percent consume three or more servings of vegetables per day.

-55 percent say they are in excellent or very good health.

-10 percent of people have asthma.

-26 percent are obese.

-16 percent currently smoke.

In the community/environmental indicators category (physical environments and recreational facilities), the metro area ranked No. 2 with a score of 74.6.

Some of those highlights:

-Six dog parks per 100,000 people.

-Six parks per 10,000 people.

-Three ball diamonds and two park playgrounds per 10,000 people.

-25 acres of park land per 1,000 acres.

-Six percent use public transportation to go to work.

-Six percent bicycle or walk to work.

The metro area’s overall score was 72.1, good for third place.

Portland was bested by Washington, D.C. (overall score of 77.3), and Minneapolis (73.5).

Seattle ranked seventh (overall score of 69.3).

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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