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Jun 03, 2014 07:16 AM EDT

Top 10 Healthiest Cities in United States

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Washington D.C. tops the list of the healthiest cities in the United States, according to a survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Minneapolis-St. Paul got downgraded to the #2 position after grabbing the top spot for three consecutive years, Hartford got demoted to the 12th  position after ranking 9th  last year, while San Diego made it to the list.

The rankings are based on the American Fitness Index that assess the availability of health-conscious community resources (public parks, bike lanes, farmer's markets, fruits and vegetables), health behaviors, levels of chronic disease (diabetes and cardiovascular) conditions and policies supporting physical activity.

"We have issued the American Fitness Index each year since 2008 to help health advocates and community leader advocates improve the quality of life in their hometowns," said Walter Thompson, chair of the American Fitness Index Advisory Board, TIME reports. "The AFI data report is a snapshot of the state of health in the community and an evaluation of the infrastructure, community assets and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles," Forbes reports.

Lower death rates, plenty of parks and a healthy appetite for fruits and vegetables are some of the factors that helped the nation's capital to secure the first position. About 81 percent of Washington residents engaged in physical activity in the last 30 days and less than 22 percent of the population are obese.

Washington spends $398 per resident on its parks when compared to Memphis (ranked last in the list) that spends just $26 per resident. In other words, Memphis needs to build some parks and recreational centers.

San Diego, which ranked 8th, is the newest addition to the list. The city performed much better than last year, where it was listed 14th.

The 2014 survey found 77 percent of the residents were part of some kind of physical activity in the last 30 days and just 23 percent of the city's population were deemed obese. Almost 40 percent of San Diegans eat two portions of fruit a day and 20 percent consume three or more servings of vegetables a day, which is above the national average.

However, the Californian city did not fare well in all the departments. Only less than 3 percent of residents use public transportation for work and 4 percent either walk or bicycle to work.

Top 10 Healthiest Cities in United States:

1. Washington, D.C. 77.3

2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. 73.5

3. Portland, Ore. 72.1

4. Denver, Colo. 71.7

5. San Francisco, Calif. 71.0

6. San Jose, Calif. 69.4

7. Seattle, Wash. 69.3

8. San Diego, Calif. 69.2

9. Boston, Mass. 69.1

10. Sacramento, Calif. 66.9

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