The beginning of January is prime time for making resolutions to improve one’s fitness and health. But maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t as simple as burning holiday calories. Our socioeconomic class, combined with where we grow up and where we currently reside, structures everything from our education to our income to our employment opportunities—and now our fitness as well.
To better understand this latter divide, I took a detailed look at the connection between how metros rank on the American Fitness Index™ (AFI) (which rates metros on individual health indicators like vegetable consumption and daily physical activity, as well as community or environmental indicators like walkability or proximity to a local park) and the key socioeconomic characteristics of these metros. (My CityLab colleague Jessica Leigh Hester has already covered the strengths and weaknesses of the latest rankings on this site.)