Study: Geography, Wealth Key in Fitness Divide

Andy Berg Headshot

The divide between those who are able to stay fit and those who are not is clearly split along geographic and socioeconomic lines.

That’s the conclusion of a location analysis conducted by Richard Florida and Charlotta Mellander over at CityLab. The pair looked at the availability of fitness venues — gyms, workout centers, pools, tennis clubs and ice skating rinks — in metro areas across the country as it relates the concentration of fitness employees. The analysis is based on data from 2015.

The study looked at more than 300 metro areas and found the highest concentrations of fitness employees in affluent, smaller metros, including a combination of outdoorsy sports-oriented places and college towns like Grants Pass and Bend, Oregon; Bremerton, Washington; Missoula, Montana; State College, Pennsylvania; Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo, California; Burlington, Vermont; Boulder, Colorado; and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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