Great, Now Dallas Is One Of The Least Fit Cities In The Nation
In addition to being smutty and un-hip, the DFW area is now ranking way down at number 47 on the American College of Sports Medicine's Fitness Index. And the bad news is that unlike some of the other lists we've been bitching about lately (looking at you, perv index) this one is backed up with actual science, using data from places like the Centers For Disease Control and the Trust For Public Land. It makes a number of good points, albeit ones you probably already know well: Many Dallasites can't walk or bike to work, and a lot of us don't have access to farmers markets, public parks or rec centers.
These people are clearly freaks of nature.
The good news: tennis courts. We're good on those.
This news hit us like a slow-moving, easily-winded tidal wave just as Robert Wilonsky shares the news that Bicycling magazine has decided, yet again, that we are the worst.
The ACSM study (which ranked Minneapolis at number one and Austin at 10, yawn) is made up of "personal health indicators" and "community health indicators." It found a number of chronic health issues were higher than they'd like in the Dallas area, including obesity (probably from all that commuting), asthma and especially heart disease. Around 200 people per 100,000 have been diagnosed with that here, compared with a target goal of 167.1. Many Dallasites also don't appear to be getting their five-a-day of fruits and veggies, and there are only 66 primary care doctors per 100,000 people here, compared with a goal of 100.
The study also says our number of baseball diamonds, playgrounds, dog parks, golf courses (because golf is, of course, excellent exercise), rec centers and swimming pools are all below the target goal for a healthy city. The numbers of people who walk, bike, or take public transportation to work are also low, to absolutely no one's surprise.
But there is a bit of good news as far as the ACSM is concerned, and it's not just our above-average number of tennis courts. We also have enough parkland, they say, making up around 13 percent of the area's total land mass, and we're spending an above-average amount on maintaining and developing it (although for some reason the study still found the number of "park units" was below the goal number).
So what exactly are we supposed to do with this entirely expected and yet still totally frustrating information? Bike lanes increasingly look like a wild pipe dream, and those adorable mini parks sadly never took off as a permanent idea.
One suggestion: Let's shut down that new bridge of ours to traffic and install a putt-putt course, a rock-climbing wall, a line of elliptical trainers overlooking the freeway, and a giant-ass swimming pool where everybody can bob for celery.
What? It's exactly as likely as those bike lanes getting built.