It appears that many Texans ought to put “be more active” on their list of New Year’s resolutions, although the odds may be stacked against them. According to a new study by WalletHub, Texas is the worst state for an active lifestyle, as Lone Star cities filled out five of the bottom 10 on a list of 100, and three are in North Texas. Looking at Nos. 80-90, there are five more Texas cities that rank poorly, including Dallas.
Outside of Austin at No. 28 and Plano at No. 30, none of the 13 Texas cities placed higher than 72. Dallas was the best of non-Plano North Texas at No. 80, followed by Garland at 84, Irving at 92, Fort Worth at 93 and Arlington sliding in at 97.
As for the others in Texas, Lubbock was 72, Corpus Christi was 88, El Paso was 89, San Antonio was 90 and Houston was 91. Laredo in South Texas was dead last.
For its list, WalletHub examined 25 metrics across two categories: budget and participation, and sports facilities and outdoor environment. The goal: to determine how well a city accommodates or encourages an active lifestyle.
In budget and participation, WalletHub looked at a city’s average cost for things like a monthly gym membership, renting a tennis court for an hour and playing a round of golf, as well as the percentage of people who participate in any sort of physical activity. Fort Worth, Arlington and El Paso had the three lowest percentages of people doing any sort of physical activity.
For sports facilities and outdoor environment, researchers considered per capita measurements for the number of swimming pools, basketball hoops, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, park acreage and playgrounds, as well as a city’s walkability score. Corpus Christi had the fourth-highest number of park playgrounds per capita but still placed 88 overall. Laredo was last in the number of park playgrounds and overall.
As for the more active-friendly Texas cities, Austin and Plano ranked better because of strong marks in the budget and participation category, but they were average in the heavier-weighted sports facilities and outdoor environment.
The five best cities for an active lifestyle were Omaha, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Reno, Nevada; and Orlando, Florida.