Most Energetic Cities
We conducted a recent study in partnership with Tahitian Noni International HiroTM, a new healthy beverage line, on "Most Energetic Cities" to measure health, wellness and an overall energetic lifestyle of U.S. cities.
Research has shown that an energetic lifestyle is the key to longevity and overall good health. We discovered the West Coast runs miles around the East Coast. The study found that the most energetic city in America is San Francisco and the corresponding Bay Area, leading other West Coast cities San Diego (2), Sacramento (4), Seattle (7) and Portland (8) in the top 10.
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA
See selected data on all fifty cities in the study.
More about the top ten
San Francisco Bay Area, CA (#1)
People in San Francisco are doing it all - they are busy working out, and taking care of themselves. They ranked in the 90th percentiles for both walking and cycling to work, moderate and vigorous exercising, and they were near the top when it came to feeling generally healthy. Not only that, they looked great, with one of our study's lowest BMI scores. The Bay Area ranked as our top spot when it came to recreation opportunities too, having the highest scores in natural resources and fitness facilities. It's surprising then, that they reported feeling down emotionally, in the study's 10th percentile of emotional health. Maybe they're happiest when driving themselves to do more and better.
San Diego, CA (#2)
Residents of San Diego make the most of their near-perfect climate by working out and keeping fit. They recorded the highest level of vigorous exercise, and their moderate exercise was nearly as high. Their BMI was in the 90th percentile, and their commute to work by bicycle and walking was in the 80th percentile. Their reported level of general good health was also in the 80th percentile. The number of fitness facilities was only average for the study, perhaps because they preferred to be outside. Their natural resource score was near the top, as was the number of outdoor stores and bike shops.
Boston, MA (#3)
Bostonians have one of the highest rates of walking to work in our study, as well as one of the largest number of fitness facilities per capita. It must be easier than facing the famous Boston traffic, because bicycling to work is also popular (in the 70th percentile). Their general health and emotional health are both around the 80th percentile, and their low BMI score is top 25% of our study. However, they don't work out as much as some other top-ranking spots, with their moderate exercise score in the 30th percentile, and vigorous exercise in the 60th percentile.
Sacramento, CA (#4)
The third California city in our top-ten study of Most Energetic Cities, Sacramento ranks near the top in the categories of bicycling to work and vigorous exercise. It also showed the highest number of minutes of weekly moderate exercise. Residents of Sacramento reported a high incidence of feeling generally healthy and good physical health, but like San Francisco, their emotional health score was near the bottom. They also scored well in the categories of fitness facilities and outdoor stores. Finally, their BMI score was very good, in the 75th percentile for our study. I guess they won't be hearing too many jokes about living in "Snack-cramento"
Denver-Aurora, CO (#5)
The Denver metro area earned uniformly high scores in the areas of physical and emotional wellness, with a BMI score that was one of the best in our study. They are plenty of activities year-around in the Rocky Mountains, and Denver residents rate in the 70th percentile for both moderate and vigorous exercise. Fitness facilities and natural resources are also about average. The climate and sprawling nature of the city mean that workers are less likely than other spots to commute by walking or cycling. Interestingly, Denver has the highest number of readers of adventure and outdoor-focused magazines of any city in our study.
Honolulu, HI (#6)
Honolulu is a special place. Despite its "hang-loose" lifestyle, people there have plenty of energy for the important things in life. Residents there score in the 90th percentile for working and biking to work, and in the categories for moderate and vigorous exercise. Not only that, they report feeling great both physically and emotionally. All this activity results in Honolulu residents having the best BMI scores for our study. So, why isn't Honolulu ranked #1 in our study of Most Energetic Cities? It turns out that they have some of the lowest scores for fitness facilities and outdoor stores. Maybe everyone would rather be outside having fun than working out in a gym.
Seattle, WA (#7)
The great Northwest has a national reputation as place where people love the outdoors. Seattle scores in the 80th percentile for walking and biking to work, and in the 70th percentile for moderate and vigorous exercise. Residents in Seattle report their general health as good, but below average for physical and emotional health. Also, their BMI scores are only in the 59th percentile (where 100 is the lowest and best BMI score). But Seattle is the home to REI, the iconic outdoor store, and Seattleites also enjoy escaping from the drizzle to work out at numerous fitness facilities. Seattle also has numerous recreational resources such as hiking, sea kayaking, running, cycling, rock climbing, and skiing.
Portland, OR (#8)
Like its Northwest neighbor, Seattle, Portland scores well in the categories of commuting to work by walking or cycling, and the amount of exercise each week. Some experts say that oppressive overcast can affect one's emotions, so this may be the reason that residents are in the 20th percentile for emotional and physical health. Portlanders report an average BMI in the 60th percentile, slightly better than average. Portland also have recreation resources and outdoor stores scoring in the 90th percentile.
Los Angeles, CA (#9)
L.A. residents work hard at working out, scoring in the 90th percentile for both moderate and vigorous exercise. And despite its reliance on the automobile, they still score very well in walking and biking to work when compared to other large cities. With its legendary emphasis on looking great, you might think that folks in L.A. would be the thinnest in the nation, but their BMI score is only good, not great, at the 70th percentile. On a per-capita basis, their number is fitness facilities is very low, in the 10th percentile. Scores for general health, physical health and emotional health are all about average or better. L.A. does have a surprising array of recreational resources, from the ocean to nearby mountains, and the climate is hard to beat.
Washington, DC (#10)
You might not consider Washington, D.C. as a place full of energetic people, but its residents are high-achievers that believe in being active. They report solid scores in walking and biking, and moderate exercise in the 40th percentile, and vigorous exercise in the 60th percentile. Though these respectable numbers aren't the best in our study, the bottom line is that Washingtonians feel great! They reported the study's highest scores for general good health and physical health, and the second-best score for emotional health. Their BMI isn't bad either, in the 80th percentile. They don't have really compelling natural recreation resources, but they do have a large number of fitness facilities and outdoor shops.