Russell Athletic Dri-Power 360 Healthiest Habitats Study Finds Northern California Bay Area Most Physically Active in the Nation

Russell Athletic Dri-Power 360 Healthiest Habitats Study Finds Northern California Bay Area Most Physically Active in the Nation

Metropolitan Areas Ranked To Determine Whose Residents Living Most Active Lifestyle

Bowling Green, KY (May 31, 2012) - The West Coast reigns supreme as the most active region in the country, according to new results from the Dri-Power 360™ Healthiest Habitats study released today by Russell Brands, LLC. Fielded by Sperling's BestPlaces, the study analyzed major metro areas in the United States to determine whose residents are living the most active and healthiest lifestyles.

The Northern California Bay Area, encompassing San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, topped the list as the most active area in the country. This Northern California region earned the number one spot with high scores for healthy eating, body mass index, regular exercise routines of its residents and number of hiking and running trails within city limits. Interestingly, the area only has an average number of gyms and fitness centers, meaning these physically fit West Coasters get a significant amount of their exercise while also enjoying the California outdoors.

“As not only a sports brand, but also an active lifestyle and fitness brand, we were delighted to see the results of this inaugural study,” said Gary Barfield, executive vice president of Russell. “As a brand that is focused on providing high-quality, affordable athletic wear, we are well aware of the importance and benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, and applaud residents of each of these cities for the wide range of activities their residents participate in to achieve their personal fitness goals.”

Rankings - Top 15 Healthiest Habitats

  • San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland, CA
  • Seattle-Tacoma, WA
  • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
  • San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
  • Boston-Cambridge, MA
  • Los Angeles-Orange County, CA
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  • Denver-Aurora, CO
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  • Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA
  • New York, Newark, Long Island, NY
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Hartford, West Hartford-East Hartford CT
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg, Clearwater, FL

While the Northern California Bay Area took the top spot, Seattle-Tacoma, WA, Portland-Beaverton, OR, San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA and Boston round out the top 5 in the study. These major metropolises exemplify active living, with all ranking high as bicycle-friendly cities and boasting an abundance of hiking and running trails.

To determine which U.S. metropolises featured the buffest bods, most cardio-crazy residents, and health-conscious eaters, the study surveyed and measured a number of factors directly correlated with an active, healthy lifestyle. Study criteria included:

  • Gyms and athletic clubs (per capita)
  • Hiking and running trails (per capita)
  • Retail fitness establishments (per capita)
  • Percent of workers commuting by walking or bicycling
  • Bicycling infrastructure (miles of bikeways, other initiatives)
  • Percent of population getting daily exercise
  • Body mass index of population
  • Healthy eating – servings of fruits, vegetables

“While the Pacific Northwest demonstrated the most active lifestyle, one point the Healthiest Habitats study highlighted is that across all major metropolitan areas, there are ample means for residents to get out and get fit,” said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling's BestPlaces. “Be it participating in outdoor activities, belonging to health clubs or the presence of fitness retailers providing resources and equipment, cities across the country are helping their residents stay active and in shape.”

Findings at a Glance

  • Portland (ranked #2) is widely recognized as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States, and the study showed just that with the largest percentage of its workforce commuting each day by bike
  • It may surprise some, but according to the Healthiest Habitats study, car-centric Los Angeles (ranked #6) has the highest concentration of hiking and running trails in and around the city
  • Minneapolis (ranked #10) cracked the top ten with the highest score in the study of residents getting regular exercise
  • The West wins with 71.8% of study respondents from this region getting exercise, compared with 64.1% of Northeasterners getting physically fit
  • San Diego (ranked #4) has the most retail fitness stores per capita, but like San Francisco the number of local gyms and fitness centers is slightly below average while its scores for commuting by bike or walking, and its bicycling infrastructure are well above average

For all the cities working hard at keeping healthy, Russell recently developed the Russell Athletic® DriPower 360™ line, the brand’s latest advancement in serious performance, with a softer side. This cutting-edge product for both men and women is made with a special cotton blend that has advanced moisture-wicking technology to helps keep people cool and dry from top to bottom.


For more than 100 years, Russell Brands, LLC, has supplied America’s athletes and teams with the latest innovations to help them perform at their best and is a leading supplier of apparel and team uniforms at the high school, college and professional levels. Russell’s collegiate licensed products and athletic wear are broadly distributed and marketed through department stores, sports specialty stores, retail chains and college bookstores. For more information, please visit