Washington, D.C. may be more famous for political gridlock, but apparently the capitol city knows how to get one thing done correctly - fitness.


Flickr, laura padgett

The second annual list of America's fittest cities published by the WellPoint Foundation has been released, and Washington, D.C. has landed itself in the top spot. It made its way up from fourth place in 2008.

The WellPoint Foundation collected data from the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. There is only one other year to compare the statistics, but what the second year allows the researchers is to evaluate the progress or regression of the areas examined.

There was a pretty big rejigging of the rankings from last year. Minneapolis wasn't even on the list last year, and it's number two this year (see below). Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York City, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, and Indianapolis were all on the list last year, but not this year.

The purpose of the rankings wasn't merely to show who is healthiest in the country. The study authors wanted to see where metro areas may have improved or faltered in improving public health. Improving the public health isn't just about making people live longer and happier lives, but reducing health costs for individuals and the society as a whole.

America's Fittest Cities:

1. Washington, D.C.
2. Minneapolis, Minnesota
3. Denver, Colorado
4. Boston, Massachusetts
5. San Francisco, California
6. Seattle, Washington
7. Portland, Oregon
8. San Diego, California
9. Austin, Texas
10. Virginia Beach, Virginia

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