In honor of National Physical Therapy Month and as part of the "Fit After 50" campaign, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and MoveForwardPT.com partnered with Huff/Post50 to determine the “Top 10 Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America. They collected data on the 50 largest metro areas of the US and identified the top 10 cities best suited for people aged 50 and older who want to live in environments that promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Congratulations to San Francisco! The city has been named #3 on the list of Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America.
San Francisco achieved a health and fitness score in the 96th percentile and a lifestyle score near the 80th percentile, proving itself one of the best cities for healthy, active older adults. Here are some important facts the research uncovered about the Golden Gate City:
- San Francisco has the second highest life expectancy of the top 10 cities at 81.3 years.
- Nearly 94% of Boomers have health insurance.
- Diagnosed cases of hypertension (approximately 49%) are 4.2% below the average for all 50 cities reviewed.
- Diagnosed cases of high cholesterol (46.4%) are 5.3% below the average for all 50 cities researched.
- Diagnosed cases of cardiac disease (3.28%) are below the 3.87% average for all 50 cities reviewed.
- Boomers report getting enough rest on most days—on average, only 5.8 days of not enough rest in the past month, the second lowest of the top 10 cities.
APTA member Nancy Byl, PT, PhD, FAPTA, professor and chair emeritus of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, wasn’t surprised her city made the top 10 list.
"There's no question that when it comes to Boomer health, San Francisco is one of the leading cities in the US," said Byl. "Boomers are transforming how we traditionally think of aging by staying mobile, and physical therapists are helping them do that."
Byl recommends San Francisco Boomers continue to focus on fitness and exercise and talk to a physical therapist if they have any questions or concerns. Here are some tips:
- Regular physical activity can improve bone density, posture, heart and lung function, muscle strength, joint function, sleep, and memory, among many other things. In addition, getting toned often gives you a more youthful appearance.
- Sticking with a physical activity plan lowers your risk for certain health conditions, such as fractures, falls, depression, certain cancers, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Physical therapists support national guidelines, which recommend that you make aerobic, strengthening, flexibility, and balance activities regular components of your physical activity program. MoveForwardPt.com has more tips on staying active, fit, and healthy; to learn which exercises are right for you and your lifestyle; and to find a physical therapist near you.
- In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, you can make an appointment to be evaluated by a physical therapist directly, without a physician referral.
Congratulations, San Francisco!