Several North Carolina cities and towns ranked high in a national survey of regular exercise, with Asheville breaking the top 30 — but the Hickory area ranked the lowest overall.
The survey, conducted by the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, measured the rate of frequent exercise across the United States, based on the percentage of respondents who do 30 minutes or more of exercise at least three times a week.
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Respondents in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area ranked No. 189, last in the survey. Only 42 percent of residents in those areas exercise regularly, according to the study.
Asheville, at No. 30, led North Carolina’s cities and towns, with 57 percent of residents who exercised regularly.
Other North Carolina areas that made the list:
- No. 36 Durham-Chapel Hill
- No. 45 Fayetteville
- No. 64 Raleigh
- No. 87 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia
- No. 92 Wilmington
- No. 155 Winston-Salem
- No. 169 Greensboro-High Point
The country’s top five cities were in Colorado and California. Boulder, known for a plethora of outdoor recreation, ranked No. 1, with 69 percent of residents exercising regularly.
“Boulder is a community with a track record of high well-being, high fresh produce consumption and extremely low rates of obesity,” the report said.
Residents in communities that regularly exercise tend to have higher rates of smiling and happiness, and self-evaluate their current and future lives positively, the report said.
People who have a high income tend to exercise more than those with lower incomes, the survey showed.