2009 Fittest Cities: #2 Colorado Springs, CO

  • Fitness Centers & Sport Stores: B+
  • Nutrition: A-
  • Sports Participation: A
  • TV Viewing: C+
  • Overweight/Sedentary: A
  • Junk Food: B-
  • Air Quality: A-
  • Geography: A-
  • Commute: A-
  • Parks & Open Space: A
  • City Rec Facilities: C-
  • Access to Healthcare: F
  • Motivation: B+
  • Mayor & City Initiatives: C+
  • State Obesity Initiatives: C+
  • What's Good
    According to the CDC, 19 percent of residents in the Colorado Springs area are clinically obese. The national average is 25.19 percent.

    According to the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey, 66.4 percent of adults here are lean enough to lower their risk for weight-related health problems. That's the 4th best score of any city in our survey. Compare it to a national average of 63.91 percent.

    The local commute is much easier than in most cities - 45 percent less oppressive than average, leaving more time to exercise and prepare healthy meals. Commuter stress may also raise levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to weight gain and other health problems.

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

    Colorado Springs's park acreage per capita is 137 percent higher than average and the 3rd highest in our survey. Research has found a connection between access to parks and green space and reduced obesity rates.

    Residents don't have far to go to find a park: Colorado Springs has 210 municipal parks, among the most of any city on a per capita basis, according to our exclusive survey of municipal park departments.

    Colorado Springs residents participate in sports much more than average - 33 percent more than average, in fact.

    Health-food stores are plentiful in Colorado Springs: There's one for every 5,975 residents, handily beating the national average of one store per 12,118.

    Colorado is one of 28 states that participate in a CDC-sponsored program to reduce obesity and other chronic diseases.

    Colorado Springs gained points in our Motivation category for high participation rates in running, biking and walking despite climate extremes.

    Basketball courts are practically everywhere here, among the highest number per capita in our survey. There's a court here for every 3,802 residents; the national average is one court per 6,909 people.

    Donuts are 65 percent less popular here than average, according to a comparison of places where they are sold. Colorado Springs has the 10th lowest number of donut outlets per capita in our survey.

    Colorado Springs residents are 100 percent more likely than average to go hiking. That's the highest participation rate in our survey.

    Residents of Colorado Springs are 196 percent more likely than average to ski, the highest rate of any city in our survey.

    You'll find a higher percentage of mountain bikers in Colorado Springs than almost anywhere else in our survey - 11.7 percent of residents. The national average is 2.5 percent.

    18.8 percent of Colorado Springs residents run or jog - 2nd highest in our survey.

    Approximately 7 percent of Colorado Springs residents do Pilates. That's the 2nd highest rate in our survey.

    Colorado Springs dwellers are 492 percent more likely than average to go snowshoeing, the 2nd highest in our survey.

    Colorado Springs locals are 254 percent more likely than average to go snowboarding - the 2nd highest rate in our survey.

    Colorado Springs residents are into fitness bicycling - they do it about 77 percent more than average, the 2nd highest overall rate among cities in our survey.

    Elliptical motion trainers are about 50 percent more popular than average in Colorado Springs, the 2nd highest overall rate among cities in our survey.

    People in Colorado Springs are 168 percent more likely than average to play lacrosse.

    5 percent of Colorado Springs residents practice martial arts, the 3rd highest participation rate in our survey.

    Approximately 18 percent of Colorado Springs residents exercise with dumbbells. That's 41 percent more than average and the 3rd highest rate in our survey.

    Approximately 5 percent of Colorado Springs residents have a home gym. That's 44 percent more than average, and the 3rd highest rate in our survey.

    Colorado Springs residents are 32 percent more likely than average to perform calisthenics - the 3rd highest rate of any city in our survey.

    Colorado Springs residents are 71 percent more likely than average to participate in yoga/tai chi. Compared to other cities, Colorado Springs is the 3rd most popular place in our survey for these activities.

    Feel like hitting the public pool for a morning swim? Good luck finding one. Colorado Springs has one pool for every 62,738 residents - 42 percent fewer than average in our survey.

    What Isn't
    Fast food is more popular than average here, according to a comparison of hamburger joints, pizza places and other fast-food outlets.

    Almost nobody participates in aerobics here; Colorado Springs residents are 41 percent less likely than average to do so.

    Colorado state law limits or prohibits obesity-related lawsuits against food manufacturers and restaurants.

    Colorado Springs residents are 19 percent less likely than average to go fitness-walking - the 8th lowest participation rate in our survey.

    Back to 2009 Fittest/Fattest Cities

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