Running ahead

Austin cycles onto list of most physically active metros in the U.S.

Austin cycles onto list of most physically active metros in the U.S.

Austin Congress Avenue Bridge paddle board Lady Bird Lake Town Colorado River
Austin gets a clean bill of health as one of the country's top physically active metros. Congress Avenue Kayaks/Facebook

Hey, Austin. It’s time to step on the treadmill, hop on your bike, or jump in the lake to celebrate Austin’s new ranking as one of the country’s 50 most physically active metro areas.

The Austin metro area grabs the No. 39 spot on the list, published by the 24/7 Wall St. website. It’s the only place in Texas to land in the top 50. The website based the ranking on data in six categories for the country’s 384 metro areas. Here’s how Austin fared in each of them:

  • Adults who exercise — 82.9 percent.
  • Residents with access to places for physical activity — 87.1 percent.
  • Adult obesity rate — 26.9 percent.
  • Adults with diabetes — 7.9 percent.
  • Adults reporting poor or fair health — 6.3 percent.
  • Physically unhealthy days per month — 3.5.

In all of the metros in the top 50, the share of adults who exercise was at least 82 percent. Boulder, Colorado, where 91.1 percent of adults exercise, claimed the No. 1 spot on the list.

Austin landed at No. 19 on the most recent American Fitness Index, with Arlington, Virginia, ranking first among the country’s fittest cities. Austin was the top-ranked Texas city in the index.

“Austin is a relatively healthy city. Over the last five years, Austin/Travis County has trended better than Texas and the nation on key health outcomes, including obesity, smoking, physical activity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes,” the City of Austin says. “While this is reassuring, we continue to see disparities along racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines within these same health outcomes.”