Courtesy of BetterDoctor

Here is some news that might motivate you to hit the trail, gym or treadmill with a renewed sense of pride.

BetterDoctor—which helps people connect to the best doctors through its consumer app, doctor marketing services and API, and aims to increase transparency in healthcare—has just released its report of “America’s Healthiest Cities 2016,” and Pittsburgh landed the No. 7 spot on the list.

In her article about BetterDoctor’s findings, writer Emily Payne says:

“At BetterDoctor, we’re invested in creating a better health care system and encouraging people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Last year, we brought you the fifty healthiest cities of 2015 based on our comprehensive data. Now, we’ve crunched the numbers again to see which areas across the country promote the healthiest lifestyles for residents. Factoring in a city’s fitness score, health insurance options, accessibility to doctors, and quality of doctors, we used a data-driven approach to analyze the fifty largest cities in the United States.”

Describing Pittsburgh and its No. 7 spot on the Top 10 list, Payne writes: “With the fourth-highest percentage of residents with health insurance at 92.5%, Pittsburgh also boasts the second highest doctor-resident ratio.”

What’s behind the rankings?

For its study of the 50 largest cities in the US, BetterDoctor calculated an American Fitness Index (AFI) score, percentage of the population with health insurance, doctors per 1,000 residents, percentage of doctors who are highly rated on BetterDoctor, and an overall health score. BetterDoctor obtained data from the American Fitness Index, US Census, and their own proprietary data.

BetterDoctor’s 100-point composite index factored in three key questions:

1. Are residents active and healthy? Using the American Fitness Index to assess fitness and general health of the residents, this composite index is comprised of many variables, including exercise rates, eating habits, chronic health problems and disease rates, access to parks and recreational activities, and more.

2. Are high-quality physicians accessible?  They included the percentage of doctors in each city that is highly rated according to BetterDoctor’s comprehensive, seven-variable algorithm as well as the number of physicians per 1,000 residents.

3. Do residents have health insurance? They used the percentage of residents with health coverage to determine how accessible medical care is in a given area.

Who else is healthy? Minneapolis nabbed the top spot, followed by Washington, DC and then Boston.

Which cities need improvement?

The five cities on BetterDoctor’s “Least Healthy Cities” list are: Memphis, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Nashville, and Riverside, CA.

Read the entire list and see all of the rankings reported in BetterDoctor’s “2016 Top Ten Healthiest Cities” in the America.


Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.