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Health News Florida

The Tampa Bay Area Ranks Low for Healthy Lifestyle Choices

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The Tampa Bay Area has a diverse number of parks and recreational facilities, but we apparently don't use them. That's the word from a new study done by the nation's largest sports medicine organization.

The American College of Sport Medicine ranked the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area’s "personal health ranking" at 47th out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas. That measures whether people choose to live a healthy lifestyle.

But the city’s access to and quality of recreational facilities ranks a bit higher, at 25th. 

American Fitness Index Advisory Board Chairman Walt Thompson says these two indicators usually go hand in hand. Tampa seems to have the facilities to promote a healthy lifestyle, just not many people take advantage of them. 

He adds the city is also lacking one other key factor.

“It appears as though there are some grass roots coalitions being developed that are saying to city leaders look we need to make some changes here," Thompson said. "We need policy changes. We need to improve our parks. We need to make them safer and make them more inviting to those of us who want to engage in regular exercise."

St. Paul, Minn. came in first out of the largest 50 metro areas, with Oklahoma City coming in last overall. 

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