June 20, 2024


Health Lasts Longer

Here’s how Irving compares to other U.S. cities for health, fitness

Here’s how Irving compares to other U.S. cities for health, fitness

Irving ranks 82nd out of 100 of the U.S.’s largest cities for health and fitness, according to a national fitness index.

The American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index ranks cities based on 34 indicators, including diet and exercise, obesity, recreational facilities, air quality, health outcomes such as blood pressure and diabetes, policies and funding, and food security.

Launched 14 years ago, the annual study seeks to increase awareness about how cities are performing across a range of health and community measures to spark discussion and advance action.

“Physical activity is not only good for personal health, it is also good for a city’s bottom line,” the study reads. “There is strong evidence of significant economic benefits from local policies and planning that support physical activity, walkability, and bikeability.”

Only one North Texas city scored in the top half, with Plano at No. 45. Elsewhere in the region, Dallas ranked 61st, Garland 75th, Arlington 79th, and Fort Worth 90th.

Topping the list for the fourth consecutive year is Arlington, Va.

Here’s a snapshot of how Irving fared:

  • 66.2{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} of residents reported exercising in the past 30 days, compared to the average of surveyed cities, 75.7
  • 44.4{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} meet aerobic activity guidelines, beneath the cities’ average of 50.8{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021}
  • 1.5{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} said they bike or walk to work, with Boston topping the list at 19.3{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021}
  • 30.2{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} reported eating the recommended two or more services of fruit a day, and only 13.1{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} eat the recommended three servings of vegetables a day, both similar to the national average
  • Air Quality Index ranks 62.2, slightly lower than the average of 64.5
  • 14.2{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} smoke, compared to Arlington, Va., where only 3.5{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} smoke
  • 28.9{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} are obese, compared to 8.6{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} in San Francisco
  • 26.2{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} have high blood pressure, outpacing the 15.2{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} in Arlington, Va.
  • 12.3{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} have diabetes, slightly higher than the national average of 10.2{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021}
  • 15.1{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} of residents are food insecure, compared to the national average of 12.2{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021}
  • 64{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} live within a 10-minute walk to a park, compared to 100{e32b4d46864ef13e127a510bfc14dae50e31bafd31770eb32fd579b90b39f021} in Boston and San Francisco
  • Irving spends $67 per resident on parks, with New York City spending $309 and the average at $102

Here is a full list of city rankings.

To compile the rankings, the index used various data sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Protection, Environmental Protection Agency, Feeding America, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Trust for Public Lands.

The J.O. Davis House was home to longtime Bear Creek teacher and mentor Josey O. Davis. The home, which is now part of the Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center, will close to the public for repairs.