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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane snoozes onto Top 10 Fittest Cities list

Sisters Katrin, left, and Maya Pardue, 19 and 17, respectively, run up High Drive in Spokane Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. Spokane was named 2014 Outstanding Runner Friendly Community of the Year by the Road Runners Club of America. (Jesse Tinsley)
Sisters Katrin, left, and Maya Pardue, 19 and 17, respectively, run up High Drive in Spokane Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. Spokane was named 2014 Outstanding Runner Friendly Community of the Year by the Road Runners Club of America. (Jesse Tinsley)

CITY RANKINGS -- Spokane ranks among the country's top 10 fittest cities, according to a new list released by Fitbit from data from personal activity tracker devices.

The rankings used aggregated data such as daily steps, active minutes, resting heart rate and sleep duration from more than 10 million users of Fitbit in 2016. The device can be worn like a watch and paired with a smartphone app to track a person's activity, exercise, sleep, weight and more so goals can be set and progress charted. 

Spokane ranked No. 9 in the country in the annual survey behind a top 20 list that was heavily weighted by towns in Wisconsin.

That No. 9 ranking is not totally good news for Spokane.  In last year's Fitbit report, the city ranked No. 3. Some cities are getting more fit, or we're going downhill.

But it's all good news considering that we've apparently risen from the shame of Spokanites being dissed in Travel and Leisure magazine's ranking of least attractive cities in 2016.  The ugliest cities in the T&L rankings were found in Baltimore and Sacramento, with Spokane No. 3, and Spokanites were singled out as being ho-hum for eye candy.

The T&L website reported, “Readers don’t consider the locals all that eye-catching, preferring instead to take in the impressive views of Spokane Falls, a series of waterfalls that thunder through the city while staying at quirky hotels like the crowd-funded Kirtland K. Cutter House.”

Apparently Spokanites are fit but ugly, or perhaps we were unattractive before we got fit, or before we got Fitbit.

Across the country, Americans definitely not looking so good health-wise. Not quite a third of the U.S. population reported being active to a healthy level, according to a Physical Activity Council 2017 study and report.

The top 20 fittest cities listed in the Fitbit report are:

  1. Duluth, Minn.
  2. Appleton, Wis.
  3. Eau Claire, Wis.
  4. Boulder, Colo.
  5. Bellingham, Wash.
  6. Madison, Wis.
  7. Billings, Mont.
  8. Rochester, Minn.
  9. Spokane
  10. Eugene, Oreg.
  11. Green Bay, Wis.
  12. Denver, Colo.
  13. Portland, Oreg.
  14. Sioux Falls, S.D.
  15. Lincoln, Neb.
  16. Syracuse, N.Y.
  17. Rochester, N.Y.
  18. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  19. Janesville, Wis.
  20. Minneapolis, Minn.

A dearth of nightlife might be a positive factor into Spokane's top 10 fitness ranking.   In the 2017 report, Spokane is No. 4 on the researchers' list of cities that get the most sleep, with an average duration of 7 hours and 4 minutes a night.

Better to be a snoozer than a loser.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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