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Fitbit data ranks Duluth as the fittest city in America

A group of mountain bikers winds down a series of tight turns at Spirit Mountain in Duluth. (2013 file / News Tribune)

When it comes to getting outdoors and being active, Duluth is stepping up.

The city has earned top honors as the “Fittest City" in the the country as designated by the makers of the Fitbit fitness monitor.

The company ranked data such as daily steps, active minutes, resting heart rate and sleep duration from more than 10 million users of Fitbit trackers in 2016.

The devices can be worn like a watch and paired with a smartphone app to track a person’s activity, exercise, sleep, weight and more so fitness goals can be set and progress charted.

Fitbit reports that Duluth held the No. 2 spot for sleep with an average length of 7 hours, 6 minutes per night and held the third spot for both average daily steps at 8,174 and daily active minutes with 20.6 per day.

City promoters credit Duluth’s 160 miles of hiking trails, 11,000 acres of parkland and 30 miles of bike trails — along with miles of Lake Superior shoreline — as key to keeping city residents active.

The ranking comes after Duluth’s “best outdoors town” accolades from Outside magazine in 2014 and a plethora of other high rankings and attention from travel and vacation publications.

In the Fitbit data, Duluth topped Appleton and Eau Claire, Wis., which ranked second and third fittest, respectively, while Rochester ranked eighth and Minneapolis 20th. Madison, which was No. 1 in 2016, dropped to sixth place this year.

America’s fittest cities

The fittest cities in the U.S. in 2016, as ranked by Fitbit user data:

1. Duluth

2. Appleton, Wis.

3. Eau Claire, Wis.

4. Boulder, Colo.

5. Bellingham, Wash.

6. Madison

7. Billings, Mont.

8. Rochester

9. Spokane, Wash.

10. Eugene, Ore.

11. Green Bay

12. Denver

13. Portland, Ore.

14. Sioux Falls, S.D.

15. Lincoln, Neb.

16. Syracuse, N.Y.

17. Rochester, N.Y.

18. Grand Rapids, Mich.

19. Janesville, Wis.

20. Minneapolis

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