Here at Milwaukee Record, we employ a sentient machine known as the Great Job, Milwaukee! Bot to keep track of the city’s many appearances on dopey online lists, as well as any time a national publication deigns to acknowledges our Midwest existence. Back in April, for instance, we were told we were ugly as dirt. Today’s bot report is a good one, though, flying in the face of conventional wisdom that paints Milwaukeeans as a slovenly, out-of-shape bunch. So rejoice, Milwaukee, for we have been named the 21st most “fit” city in the U.S.! Which is kind of good!

The news is buried in the 2017 American Fitness Index (AFI), an annual study released by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation. The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metropolitan statistical area (MSA) ranks 21 out of 50, with 53.9 points out of a possible 100. That’s tied with Cincinnati, but just below the marble-cut gods in Baltimore (54.0). Topping the list are the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul (80.2), which are close to Wisconsin.

“The top seven cities in the 2017 AFI are between 4-13 percentage points ahead of the rest of the pack,” the study says, “principally related to lower rates of smoking and cardiovascular disease deaths and higher reported physical activity, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and per capita park expenditures in their communities.”

Here’s the rest of the methodology. Great job, Milwaukee!

ACSM, the Indiana University School of Family Medicine and a panel of 26 health and physical activity experts developed the methodology to analyze U.S. Census data; data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS); The Trust for the Public Land City Park Facts; and other existing research data in order to give a scientific, accurate snapshot of the health and fitness status at a metropolitan level.

ACSM is a global leader in promoting the benefits of physical activity and advocates for legislation that helps government and the health community make it a priority. ACSM encourages Congress to support continued funding of parks, trails and safe routes to school, as well as the need for all Americans to meet the prescribed physical activity recommendations included in the National Physical Activity Guidelines, and the need for the guidelines to be regularly updated every 10 years.

The data is made up of personal health, community and environmental indicators. Visit the online newsroom at for a complete list of the data components.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.