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Colorado Ranks As One of America’s Fittest States

Colorado Ranks As One of America’s Fittest States

[ Wed, 2010-03-17 14:53 ]
colorado landscape
A recent Gallup Poll proves once again what Coloradans have known for a long time: when it comes to fitness, the West is the best.

Not surprisingly, four Colorado locales top the list of the "Ten Fittest Cities" in the United States according to a recent Gallup poll: Fort Collins/Loveland, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder. California tied Colorado with four fit metropolitan areas: San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles, Santa Cruz/Watsonville, San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, and San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont. On the East Coast, Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk, CT and Barnstable Town, MA took the prize.

The healthiest cities were determined by their obesity rates. All of the top ten cities stayed under 18.2%; the national average is 26.5%. Fort Collins/Loveland topped the list overall with an obesity rate of just 16%. Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of someone’s weight in relation to height, was used to determine obesity. A BMI of 30 or above puts you in the obese category.

In the poll, participants were asked their height and weight rather than stepping on the scale—not a particularly scientific measurement.

The validity of BMI has been strongly contested in many circles because often it doesn’t paint a true portrait of health. A thin person is not necessarily healthier than an overweight person. Plus, everyone knows that muscle weighs more than fat. For example, Alpine skier, Elisabeth Goergl, who at 5’5 feet, 155 pounds won two bronze medals in Vancouver, has a BMI 25.8, placing her squarely in the overweight category. contributor, Kate Harding, tackled this issue for her BMI project, where she photographed underweight, normal, obese, and morbidly obese people—a fascinating look at body types.  

Despite the controversy surrounding BMI, participants polled in the top ten fittest cities reported healthier habits then their counterparts in other areas of the country. In general, they don’t smoke, eat more fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly.

And, with our home office in Boulder, Colo., we'll gladly point out that all that time spent away from our computers and on the slopes has not only made us happier, but apparently fit as fiddles, as well.