Leaving damn lies aside, it turns out that Oaklanders are pretty healthy. According to Men’s Health magazine, the City of Oakland ranks as the third “most active” city in the nation. Apparently, we exercise more and watch TV or play video games less frequently than nearly all other Americans — but that doesn’t mean most city residents are prepared to run the next Oakland Marathon.
Let’s start by sharing all the criteria Men’s Health used for the rankings:
- Where and how often people exercise
- Percentage of households that watch more than 15 hours of cable a week
- Percentage of households that buy more than 11 video games a year
- Rate of deaths from deep-vein thrombosis, a condition linked to a lot of sitting
- Exercise defined as any physical activity in the past month
When you dig deeper, Oaklanders aren’t exercising at the same rates. The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHA) has attributed disparities to income and race distinctions, as well as access to safe exercise locations.
The stats don’t lie: Alameda County officials also reported a wide range of lifespans. In the Oakland Hills, Whites live 82.3 years and African Americans live 77.4 years. In the Flats, Whites live 76.6 years and African Americans live 70.5 years.
More info: Although Alameda County released their comprehensive health study in 2009, it’s still an interesting resource. Read the Unnatural Causes summary, delve into the full study, or review the exercise section.