According to a national fitness index, Irving ranks 82nd out of 100 of the largest cities in the United States for health and fitness.
The American Fitness Index from the American College of Sports Medicine ranks cities 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 aims to raise awareness of how cities perform on a range of health and community interventions to stimulate discussion and drive action.
“Physical activity is not only good for personal health, but also for a city’s bottom line,” the study says. “There is strong evidence of significant economic benefits from local policies and planning that encourage physical activity, walking and cycling.”
Only one city in North Texas scored in the top half, with Plano at 45th. Elsewhere in the region, Dallas was 61st, Garland 75th, Arlington 79th, and Fort Worth 90th.
At the top of the list for the fourth year in a row is Arlington, Virginia.
Here is a snapshot of how Irving fared:
- 66.2% of the population said they had done sports in the last 30 days, compared to the average of the cities surveyed, 75.7
- 44.4% meet aerobic activity guidelines, below the city average of 50.8%
- 1.5% said they bike or walk to work, with Boston topping the list at 19.3%.
- 30.2% said they ate the recommended two or more servings of fruit per day, and only 13.1% ate the recommended three servings of vegetables per day, both similar to the national average
- At 62.2, the air quality index is slightly below the average of 64.5
- 14.2% smoke compared to Arlington, Virginia where only 3.5% smoke
- 28.9% are obese compared with 8.6% in San Francisco
- 26.2% have high blood pressure, beating the 15.2% in Arlington, Virginia.
- 12.3% have diabetes, slightly more than the national average of 10.2%
- 15.1% of the population are food insecure, compared to the national average of 12.2%
- 64% live within a 10-minute walk of a park, compared to 100% in Boston and San Francisco
- Irving spends $ 67 per resident on parks, with New York City spending $ 309 and the average spending $ 102
Here is a full list of city rankings.
To compile the ranking, the index used a variety of data sources including the US 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 .