APTA and Huff/Post50 Announce the 'Top 10 Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America'

ALEXANDRIA, VA, October 1, 2013 — Today APTA and Huff/Post50 announced the "Top 10 Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America." The cities were identified based on a survey that evaluated factors contributing to a fit and active lifestyle as people age. Cities were rated on life expectancy, cardiovascular health, and reported stress levels of baby boomers, as well as access to local health care and fitness resources.

"Baby boomers have redefined aging by their strong desire to maintain mobility and independence and live healthy, active lifestyles well into their 50s and beyond," said APTA member Alice Bell, PT, DPT, GCS. She explained, "Living in a fit city for baby boomers means you have many fitness and health care resources at your disposal—including access to physical therapists. Working with your physical therapist is an important part of maintaining and restoring motion, staying fit and active, and preventing injury as you age."

Based on the survey's criteria, the top 10 fittest cities for baby boomers are:

  1. San Jose, CA
  2. Minneapolis, MN
  3. San Francisco, CA
  4. Denver, CO
  5. Boston, MA
  6. Salt Lake City, UT
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Seattle, WA
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Raleigh, NC

"A city's attributes can have quite an impact on the health of baby boomers," said Huff/Post50 editor Shelley Emling. "Mass transit availability, access to fitness, and quality health care facilities do influence your health and lifestyle. However, baby boomers are a cohort that is highly individualized. We're in control of our own destiny, and this study is a great reminder that we can live healthier lives when we access the resources around us."

Physical fitness is an integral part of overall health and well-being, and it becomes even more important with age. Baby boomer fitness is increasingly impacted by issues with joint health, balance, and diminishing muscle mass. In addition, boomers need to consider workout modifications that help them stay active longer. Physical therapists address these issues and prescribe an exercise regimen that takes into account a boomer's individual health history and needs. Find out how physical therapists can help boomers stay active and fit as they age.

In all 50 states and the District of Columbia patients can be evaluated by a physical therapist without a physician's referral. Forty-eight states and DC also allow some level of treatment by a physical therapist without a referral.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat, and find a physical therapist in your area at www.MoveForwardPT.com. Consumers are encouraged to follow us on Twitter (@MoveForwardPT) and Facebook.

This first-ever survey scored the nation's 50 largest metro areas in two main categories – the health and fitness of their boomer residents, and the lifestyle indicators which help promote a healthy lifestyle. The health and fitness category used metrics such as the area's life expectancy, percent with health insurance, and health resources such as hospitals and medical care. The lifestyle category measured each area's mental and emotional well-being, availability of fitness and recreation resources, and mass transit options. Wherever possible, data was used which specifically measured the target demographic, adults over the age of 50. And where appropriate, data was adjusted by each area's population so large and small metro areas could be compared evenly.

CSM 2016