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Orlando Ranks 34th in America's Fittest City Index


The American College of Sports Medicine's annual American Fitness Index is out- and Orlando ranks 34th. The report measures the health and activity levels of residents, along with how well the environment supports healthy living. And that's an area in which Orlando and surrounding cities fall short.

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[Lake Eola Park]

The Orlando Metro area scored well for access to parks and swimming pools, but residents aren't getting enough exercise, and the city has high death rates for cardiovascular disease, high diabetes rates and high rates of smoking. In a fit city, 82 per cent of residents get in some physical activity in a 30 day period- but the report found only 65 per cent of Orlando residents exercised at least once in 30 days. Healthy Central Florida Executive Director Jill Hamilton Buss says Central Floridians don’t spend enough time biking and walking.

“I think that the fact that we’re number one for the deaths of pedestrians due to motor vehicle accidents that they’re correlated somehow, that people are afraid to get out and walk and bike and there aren’t bike paths and the infrastructure that supports us being active,” she said.

Healthy Central Florida is  conducting a pilot program in  Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville to create healthier, more exercise friendly environments. Improved walking paths, community and corporate walking programs, access to healthier foods and smoke free college campuses are all recent measures that could  improve Orlando’s  rankings in the future. Minneapolis  ranked as America’s fittest city for the third year in a row. More than 50-percent of its residents report being moderately physically active, compared to 46-percent in Central Florida.

 

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