Ah, Denver. The capital city of the least obese state in the nation, known for its abundant sunshine, multitudinous parks, proximity to the Rocky Mountains and being the … eighth best big city in America for leading an active lifestyle?
That’s right, eighth. As in one space lower than seventh, seven places below No. 1.
That’s where personal finance website WalletHub puts the Mile High City on its rankings of 2019’s Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle. The report, which examined the 100 biggest cities in the country, came out last week, and used 38 data points across two main categories — “budget and participation” and “sports and outdoors” — to decide which cities reign supreme when it comes to giving residents the best opportunity to live their best, non-couch-based lives.
Among the factors weighed include proximity to a ski resort, walking trails per capita, and a low percentage of physically inactive residents. Good stuff, right? Not enough to elevate Denver over paragons of physical health like Chicago and Minneapolis.
WalletHub’s online report doesn’t provide a full ranking for each category, but it’s safe to assume Denver’s ranking took a hit on categories like proximity to a major lake/ocean and air quality. Curse you, brown cloud.
Other categories that factored into Denver earning its eighth spot: average bowling cost, little leagues per capita, pick-up soccer meetups per capita and public golf courses per capita.
Besides Chicago and Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and Denver’s oft-compared municipal nemesis Seattle ranked higher than Denver in the report. Honolulu earned the top spot.
Colorado as a state showed well. Colorado Springs clocked in at 33rd on WalletHub’s list and Aurora 55th.
Among the site’s ranking for cities with the lowest percentage of physically inactive residents, Colorado Springs was No. 3, while Denver and Aurora tied for fourth. (Portland and Seattle came in first and second in this category, respectively.)
Denver can’t knock itself too much for its eighth spot, though. We never had a chance once they threw the ocean and cheap bowling into the mix.