2009 Fittest Cities: #10 Virginia Beach, VA

  • Fitness Centers & Sport Stores: B
  • Nutrition: B+
  • Sports Participation: B-
  • TV Viewing: C+
  • Overweight/Sedentary: B
  • Junk Food: C
  • Air Quality: A
  • Geography: A
  • Commute: B
  • Parks & Open Space: A-
  • City Rec Facilities: A
  • Access to Healthcare: C
  • Motivation: F+
  • Mayor & City Initiatives: C-
  • State Obesity Initiatives: C-
  • What's Good
    According to the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey, 66.9 percent of adults here are lean enough to lower their risk for weight-related health problems. That's the 2nd best score of any city in our survey. Compare it to a national average of 63.91 percent.

    Air quality here is among the best of any city in our survey, according to EPA air quality standards.

    Virginia Beach residents received a high score in fruit and vegetable consumption, with 29 percent eating the recommended five or more servings per day.

    Residents don't have far to go to find a park: Virginia Beach has 253 municipal parks, among the most of any city on a per capita basis, according to our exclusive survey of municipal park departments.

    Virginia has "snack tax" laws aimed at reducing obesity and improving nutrition.

    Basketball courts are practically everywhere here, among the highest number per capita in our survey. There's a court here for every 1,464 residents; the national average is one court per 6,909 people.

    Golfers can choose from 10 city-owned courses. Relative to population, that's more than almost anywhere else we surveyed.

    There are 65 percent more tennis courts per capita here than average among cities in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are 182 percent more likely than average to participate in gymnastics, the highest rate in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are 43 percent more likely than average to perform calisthenics - the highest rate of any city in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are seriously into cardio kickboxing, with a participation rate that's 61 percent above average for cities in our survey. Overall, the city ranks 2nd in this category.

    18.3 percent of Virginia Beach residents run or jog - 3rd highest in our survey.

    Virginia Beach is the 3rd most popular place in our survey for high-impact aerobic dancing. People here are 51 percent more likely than average to do it.

    What's Not
    According to the CDC, 29 percent of residents in the Virginia Beach area are clinically obese. The national average is 25.19 percent.

    Although other states participate in a CDC-sponsored program to reduce obesity and other chronic diseases, Virginia doesn't.

    Virginia Beach scored poorly in our Motivation category for weak participation in outdoor activities despite plenty of open space.

    Feel like hitting the public pool for a morning swim? Good luck finding one. Virginia Beach has one pool for every 72,457 residents - 64 percent fewer than average in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are 36 percent less likely than average to play softball - the 4th lowest participation rate in our survey.

    Residents of Virginia Beach are 67 percent less likely than average to ski, the 3rd lowest rate of any city in our survey.

    Residents of Virginia Beach are 68 percent less likely than average to use aerobic rider machines.

    Virginia Beach locals are 53 percent less likely than average to burn calories on a ski machine - the 3rd lowest rate of any city in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are 22 percent less likely than average to participate in recreational swimming - the 2nd lowest in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are 36 percent less likely than average to play tennis - the 2nd lowest rate of any city in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are 56 percent less likely than average to go hiking. That's the 2nd lowest participation rate in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are 58 percent less likely than average to go day hiking. That's the 2nd lowest participation rate in our survey.

    Virginia Beach residents are 49 percent less likely than average to play soccer - the lowest rate in our survey.

    Back to 2009 Fittest/Fattest Cities

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