Sonoma County Makes List Of Top 50 Most Fitness-Friendly Places

SONOMA COUNTY, CA — A recent study had some good news for Sonoma County residents who made a New Year's resolution to get into shape. The Santa Rosa-Petaluma Metro Area, which encompasses all of Sonoma County, ranked in the top 50 places in the United States to get physically fit in 2021, according to SmartAsset.

The Santa Rosa-Petaluma Area came in at No. 43 in a study by SmartAsset that analyzed 301 metro areas to find the most fitness-friendly places nationwide.

Seven California metro areas ranked among the Top 50, four of which cracked the Top 25 on the 2021 list from SmartAsset, a financial technology company that provides personal finance advice on the web.

To compile the rankings, SmartAsset examined data from five metrics:

  • The percentage of residents who walk or bike to work as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.

  • The concentration of fitness professionals — dietitians, nutritionists, recreational therapists, athletic trainers, fitness trainers and aerobics instructors — per 10,000 workers using May 2019 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics.

  • The concentration of fitness establishments — sporting goods stores and fitness and recreational sports centers — using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Metro Area Business Patterns Survey.

  • The percentage of restaurants that serve only fast food, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Metro Area Business Patterns Survey.

  • The average hourly wage of personal trainers according to May 2019 data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics. (Given the limited availability of direct data about the cost to consumers for personal training services, this metric acted as a proxy to indicate the relative affordability of hiring a personal trainer in a given metro area, according to SmartAsset.)

The Santa Rosa-Petaluma Metro Area scored 75.03 out of a possible 100 points. According to the study:

  • 2.6 percent of Sonoma County commuters walk or bike;

  • there are 38 fitness professionals per 10,000 workers in the county;

  • the county has 93 fitness establishments;

  • 30 percent of Sonoma County restaurants serve only fast food; and

  • $27.37 is the area's average hourly wage for personal trainers.

Six other California metro areas joined Santa Rosa-Petaluma on SmartAsset's list of the Top 50 Most Fitness-Friendly Places for 2021:

  • Napa, No. 17

  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville, No. 6

  • San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, No. 12

  • Chico, No. 19 (tied)

  • Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, No. 31

  • San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, No. 50

The company noted that with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, communities will hopefully be able to have gyms up and running at full capacity soon.

Read the full report here.

This article originally appeared on the Petaluma Patch