Riding on westbound Friars, a recreational cyclist was among dozens in the bike lane precding the professionals. Photo by Ken Stone

The San Diego metropolitan area is the 10th fittest in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation.

In the 10th annual American Fitness Index, San Diego ranked ninth for personal health indicators such as recent exercise, consumption of fruits and vegetables, amount of sleep, and smoking and obesity rates.

However, the region slipped to 22nd in community health factors like parks as a percentage of land area, commuting by public transportation or bicycle, walking and school physical education policies.

“Our ultimate goal is to offer individuals, families and communities trusted resources that can help them assess, plan and implement policies that promote positive health outcomes,” said Walter Thompson, AFI Advisory Board chairman and ACSM president-elect.

“Ten years of evidence-based data offers these cities and their citizens valuable insights into how to substantively improve elements leading to healthier lives and reduced health care costs,” he said.

San Diego’s overall ranking of 10th is the same as last year.

Minneapolis-St. Paul supplanted Washington, D.C., as the fittest metro area in the country. The nation’s capital fell to second.

The rest of the top 10 consisted of the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, San Jose, Boston, Denver, Portland and Salt Lake City metro areas. Louisville was the lowest of the 50 regions in the ratings.

—City News Service