Fit or Fat
Fort Worth makes tiny strides toward faraway fitness finish line
If your goal for 2019 is to develop a consistent fitness regimen and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you'll need to stay the course in Fort Worth.
According to WalletHub, Fort Worth ranks 84 out of 100 in the personal finance website's annual list of the best and worst cities in America for an active lifestyle.
However, despite its low score, Fort Worth has made a noteworthy improvement compared to three years ago. In 2016, WalletHub ranked us a dismal 94 out of 100. That same year, Dallas was ranked No. 84 and is now No. 53, so there might be hope for us yet.
To get its list, WalletHub evaluated 38 key indicators of an active lifestyle through two main categories: budget and participation and sports and outdoors. Some of the 38 factors included monthly fitness club fees, average cost of sports apparel, number of basketball hoops, and — curiously — the cost of bowling.
In addition to its overall rank, Fort Worth came in 94th for the fewest swimming pools per capita. Similarly, Irving is No. 97 in fewest basketball hoops per capita. Notably, El Paso ranked second for having the lowest monthly fitness club fees, but No. 77 for the highest percentage of physically inactive residents.
The new WalletHub score might be particularly disappointing given Fort Worth's strides to be known as "Fit Worth." In November 2018, Fort Worth became the largest city in the nation to be certified as a Blue Zones Community.
"Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being improvement initiative based on creating permanent and semi-permanent changes to manmade surroundings that impact lifestyle and culture," the city says on its website. "The work of the project is based on an ongoing, 15-year study of the world’s longest-lived people. Fort Worth joins 19 cities across the country in earning the designation and is now the nation’s largest certified Blue Zones Community."
The city notes the following stats from another study on its site:
"According to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, the city’s overall 2018 Well-Being Index score rose to 62.5, a gain of nearly four points since 2014. Meanwhile the U.S. Well-Being Index score — which outpaced the Fort Worth score by 3 points in 2014 — is 61.3, a decline of 0.5 over the same period.
Compared to the 190 largest metro areas reported nationally, Fort Worth’s equivalent rank for overall well-being rose from 185th in 2014 to 58th in 2017. Since 2014, Fort Worth has shown improvement in purpose, social, financial, community and physical well-being — all five of the core elements of well-being measured by the Gallup-Sharecare survey."
Among major Texas cities in WalletHub's rankings, Austin nabbed the highest rank at No. 18. Houston followed at No. 42, then Dallas (No. 53), Lubbock (No. 57), San Antonio (No. 61), Plano (No. 68), Laredo (No. 71), El Paso (No. 80), and Corpus Christi (No. 89).
Making a particularly bad showing were the three Texas cities in the bottom 10: Garland (No. 92), Arlington (No. 95), and Irving (No. 97).
So where should the fit-minded be calling home? Honolulu is tops, followed by Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.