“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise… we would have found the safest way to health”*…
From Richard Florida and his team at the Martin Prosperity Institute, a mapping of the American Fitness Index™ (AFI) (which rates metros on individual health indicators like vegetable consumption and daily physical activity, as well as community or environmental indicators like walkability or proximity to a local park): cities with a low fitness score are shown in blue, while cities with a high fitness score are shown in dark purple.
The group then analyzed the data against the key socioeconomic characteristics of these metros. Fitness, it emerges, is highly correlated with a city’s wealth/affluence, education level, and proximity to tech industry centers…
For all the talk of fitness that permeates the American zeitgeist—from reality shows like The Biggest Loser to the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to combat childhood obesity—we don’t often explore the more subtle factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. As beneficial as exercise and mindful eating may be, the overall health of our lifestyles is not just the product of a series of good decisions. It is also the result of how our culture and society is structured. At the end of the day, fitness is consistently tied up with our affluence, jobs, education, and class position—all of which are partially contingent on where we live. With the success of fit cities comes the unfortunate reality that these cities reflect yet another gripping image of our country’s great divide along economic and class lines.
More data and analysis at “America’s Great Fitness Divide.”
And on a related front, see also: “These Victorian-Era Diseases Are Making a Comeback in a City Near You.” Gout, scurvy, and rickets– who’d have thunk it.
As we drop and do 50, we might recall that it was on this date in 1889 that U.S. Patent #396,089 was issues to Daniel Johnson for a “Rotary Dining Table.” Johnson’s innovation was to combine a “rotary table and adjustable chair adapted for saloons of sea-going vessels and of other descriptions, in which the occupants of the chairs may be served in rotation from one stationary base of supply without the danger and inconvenience incident to the person making the circuit of the table when the vessel is upon the seas, and also enabling the persons seated at the table to be served with dispatch.” The entire table with its attached chairs was supported on one central rotating shaft – making the seated persons part of a human “Lazy Susan.”