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Is Your City Getting Fit? New Research Has The Answer

by User Not Found | Dec 09, 2014

For Immediate Release: December 9, 2014

ACSM Releases New Five-Year Trend Reports for 50 Largest MSA’s in U.S.

INDIANAPOLIS— For the last seven years, the American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index® (AFI) program, with support from the Anthem Foundation, has published an annual data report highlighting key health and fitness measures for the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.  The AFI data report gives communities an opportunity to gauge and improve their residents’ health, provide awareness and education to community leaders and inspire community action and advocacy based on scientific evidence. Today, the AFI program is releasing a groundbreaking trend report recapping five-year summary data for each city.

“For the first time ever, a health and fitness trend report has been created for each Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), documenting progress during the five-year period from 2009 to 2013,” said Dr. Walt Thompson, chair of the ACSM American Fitness Index advisory board and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. As a tool, this report can be used to identify where to celebrate success, as well as what areas are in need of more attention.”

As a complement to the annual AFI report, the data trend reports help arm cities with the data they need to make improvements. “Our goal is to drive positive, healthy change in people’s lives and in our communities,” said Lance Chrisman, executive director of the Anthem Foundation. “To change the future, you have to understand where you’ve been and where you are today. These reports paint a clearer picture of where cities stand in promoting healthy lifestyles.”

The AFI Data Trend Report assesses 14 personal health indicators and 16 community health indicators. Examples of personal health indicators include percent of population that is physically active, currently smokes and have been diagnosed with diabetes, asthma and heart disease. Community health indicator examples include percent of population that uses public transportation, recreational area ratios, park-related expenditures and number of primary care providers.  Target goals were included for each measure.

 “While improvements in community and built environment indicators are important investments, a notable change in the health of residents is expected to slowly, but surely, follow,” said Thompson. “As we all strive for a healthier future, AFI recognizes the tremendous efforts that have gone into improving the health and well-being of residents, as well as community and environmental assets.” 

Your city’s trend report is available here. To help you understand the trend report, please view this document.



About The American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

About Anthem Foundation
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of Anthem, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit and its blog at


For more information, please contact:

Annie Spencer, ACSM

(317) 637-9200 or


Leslie Porras, Anthem, Inc.

(818) 234-3368 or

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