The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundationcreated the American Fitness Index® (AFI) program in 2008 to help communities embrace a culture of health and wellness, support community wellness policy and resources, and improve residents’ health. AFI measures data from the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to get metrics on health, community, and environmental indicators. We share these results each year as part of our Regional Indicators Project.
In the 2017 report, released last month, Richmond ranked 30th. The ranking concluded that Richmond loves to play! (No news to us, since last year we were designated the first Playful Region in the country!) We have a high number of parks, swimming pools, tennis courts, and recreation areas per capita. Additionally, we can pat ourselves on the back for the number of farmers markets we boast offering healthy food choices.
However, we have a lower percentage of people eating 2X or 3X servings of fruits and vegetables each per day. More distressing, we are farther away from our target goal in health outcomes like obesity, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, we are a bit behind on public and bike transportation opportunities that support active living. For more updates on our progress to build a healthy community make sure to attend our Annual Update on March 13th.