Bike lanes, plenty of parks, and other pro-health infrastructure help the residents of these locales stay fit.
It’s no secret that city dwellers tend to get in more steps every day. After all they often rely on their own two feet, rather than a car, to get from place to place. But which cities are the best for racking up miles on your tracker, and living an overall active, healthy lifestyle?
A new report has determined just that. The study, part of the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being Series, assigned an "Active Living" score to cities based on factors like walkability, bike-ability, the quality of the public transit system, and availability of well-maintained parks. The researchers looked at a total of 48 medium to large cities.
Boston nabbed the highest score, followed by San Francisco (unsurprisingly—have you seen that city’s hills?) and Chicago. New York City and Washington, D.C., were awarded fourth and fifth places, respectively.
So, how do these locales' high scores translate to real-life health perks? Well, for one, the residents of the top five cities have significantly lower rates, on average, of a handful of diseases (from diabetes to high cholesterol to depression) compared to people living in cities with low scores. They also have higher rates of exercise and eat more fresh produce.
The bottom line: While leading an active life is possible no matter where you live, it certainly doesn't hurt to have protected bike lanes and lots of green space for outdoor rec. The top five cities make sticking to healthy habits just a little bit easier.