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Sacramento Ranked 14th Most Active City in the U.S.


For those looking for a boost in enthusiasm to burn off post-holiday chub, you will be glad to hear the city you live in has just received a nod for the motivation it provides to get residents out and active.

According to a new study by WalletHub, Sacramento is ranked the 14th best city in the US for an active lifestyle, meaning our city is not only great for those who habitually participate in physical activity, but also for those of us looking for more.

The study looked at the country’s 100 most populated cities and compared them across two key metrics: Budget & Participation and Sports Facilities & Outdoor Environment. Accessibility to public facilities and parkland acres weighed heavier than the budget and participation rate of residents since accessibility to physical activity, according to WalletHub, is the primary determiner of how well a population engages in it.

Within the two primary categories, WalletHub weighed and calculated 24 relevant metrics such as the number of swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, playgrounds, parkland acres, and golf courses per capita as well as the cost of participation and the percentage of residents who engage in any physical activity. Weather also played a factor in the ratings.

The study, which examined the city proper and not the surrounding metro areas, found Sacramento to rank high in Sports Facilities & Outdoor Environment at 11th in the nation. Sacramento also earned an impressive 3rd place for the percentage of people who engage physical activity and 20th place number of fitness centers per capita.

The rankings were a bit higher for our walk score, at 42 out a 100, and the overall Budget and Participation score placed us at 30th in the nation.

The highest ranking city in the US is Scottsdale, Arizona, followed by Orlando and Tampa, Florida. The only other California city that made the top 20 list is Irvine (11th). San Diego came in at 25th and San Francisco at 27th.

Sacramento’s greatest strength is clearly in its accessibility to facilities and an outdoor environment that encourages residents to get out and move around. Since the study didn’t extend beyond city borders, it missed out on examining the rest of the 30+ miles of the American River Bike Trail that winds all the way up to Folsom Lake, which itself has multiple miles of walking, running, and biking trails.

So if we were to look at the overall potential for physical fitness, combined with great weather that extends through most of the year, Sacramento is a gem of a city for those seeking an active lifestyle. Maybe even more of a gem than the study realizes.

To read WalletHub’s full study, visit wallethub.com.

Photo by Greg Balzer/CC Flickr


About the author

Bethany Harris

Bethany joined Sacramento Press in 2013 and enjoys writing articles that uncover the happenings of the city and the people behind the stories who make them so worth telling. A native of Sacramento, she also loves photography, running, gardening, coffee, and discovering new places and new things to do--both in the city and throughout California.

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