A recent study by ChamberOfCommerce.org indicates that, of all midsize cities in the U.S., Santa Clarita has the eighth largest share of physically active adults. The chamber posted results of the study on its website.
Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s CDC Places project, the chamber’s report takes a look at physical activity levels among adults in America. According to the chamber’s website, the study comes in response to the decrease in physical activity during the pandemic across the nation when gyms, pools and other recreational facilities closed or operated at limited capacity. Even with places opening back up post-pandemic, the chamber found physical activity to be lower than normal, though Santa Clarita adults rank among the highest in the nation.
“As COVID-19 cases decline again,” the report on ChamberOfCommerce.org stated, “many public health restrictions are lifted, and more of life returns to normal, one interesting question for the months and years ahead is how the pandemic will permanently affect people’s habits and lifestyle.”
To determine the most physically active cities, researchers at the chamber ranked locations by the share of adults who self-reported engaging in leisure-time physical activity — such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening or walking for exercise. Numbers on the website indicates that the share of adults in Santa Clarita who are physically active is 80.8% (compared to 74.4% nationwide), that those who are obese is 24.4% (compared to 31.3% nationwide), that those with high cholesterol is 26.5% (compared to 28.7% nationwide), that those with diabetes is 7.8% (compared to 9.7% nationwide) and that those with depression is 16.2% (compared to 18.9% nationwide).
The questions of whether people are exercising or how much they’re exercising post-pandemic are important, the chamber report stated, because maintaining adequate levels of physical activity is a key component of individual and public health. The chamber added that a physically active lifestyle aids in reduced blood pressure, improved mood and energy levels, and better sleep, and that physically active people are at lower risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some types of cancers.
According to the CDC, a lack of physical activity contributes to 10% of all premature deaths in the U.S.
“Additional data from the CDC appears to confirm how physical activity is associated with a reduction in other potential health risks,” the chamber report stated.
Large cities ranked at the bottom of the list in the study include Detroit, with its share of physically active adults coming in at 62.4%, and Cleveland, at 61.7%. In comparison to Santa Clarita, the midsize cities ranking at the bottom include Jackson, Mississippi, at 59.7%, and Hialeah, Florida, at 59.4%, as compared to Santa Clarita’s 80.8%.
At the top of the list for large cities in America, Seattle was ranked No. 1 as the most physically active city in the U.S. with 84.7% of its adults who are physically active, followed by Minneapolis at 81.1%, and San Francisco at 80.9%. Fremont, California, was ranked No. 1 for midsize cities in America at 83.2%, followed by Irvine and Scottsdale, Arizona, both at 83%, and Huntington Beach at 82%.
Meanwhile, according to the chamber, many at-home fitness products and services that boomed during the pandemic now face an uncertain future with some consumers returning to their old gyms, and others simply losing interest.