Move It. Chicago Ranks Among Best Cities In U.S. For 'Active Living'
By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 11, 2016 8:15PM
It was only last week that Chicago was told our city was the very best in America to be an “urban hermit.” But apparently we have the best of both worlds: Chicago is also the third best city in the country for “active living,” according to a new report.
The rankings—which were determined by Gallup-Healthways, a business that works with health-care providers to promote wellness—assign weighted scores for walkability, bikeability, public transit, and accessibility to parks. Boston was chosen No.1 and San Francisco came in at No. 2. Here’s the Top Ten:
2. San Francisco
4. New York
5. Washington DC
Befitting its position as America’s most bike friendly city—at least according to Bicycling magazine—Chicago was among the very top in Bike Score: Chicago’s 70.2 was (barely) second to Boston’s 70.3. (We can live with that. The protected infrastructure on Western Avenue in Cambridge, Mass is considered among the best.) Chicago scored in the highest quartile in all four categories.
“Communities that want to promote well-being, balance city budgets, attract the best new workforces, and spur economic growth should prioritize investments that encourage active living,” said Dan Burden, of Blue Zones, LLC, in a statement.
Maybe slow down on that “balance city budgets” when it comes to Chicago, but, fair enough.
“From protected bike lanes, mixed use development, trails, and wide sidewalks to landscaping and other amenities, it’s been proven that an active environment results in healthier citizens, steadier long-term growth, and a more vibrant economy,” he added.
Residents of the leading cities—Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington D.C.—were found to have better rates when it comes to obesity, cholesterol and diabetes, the report states.
It certainly rings true anecdotally. I definitely felt fit and active while I watched the Chicago Marathon on TV from my couch this weekend.