Why Arlington’s ‘Fittest City in the U.S.’ Ranking Matters to Local Businesses

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The American College of Medicine announced its 12th annual list of top fittest, healthiest cities in the U.S. last week. Arlington, VA was ranked first in the nation for the second year in a row, and D.C. came in at 6th. The list of 100 of the largest urban areas was ranked by the American Fitness Index, in which cities with the highest scores are considered to have strong community fitness - and therefore strong personal fitness.

Arlington showed strong metrics to garner the top spot: 92% of Arlington residents shared they exercised in the previous month, and a third met the U.S. aerobic and strength activity guidelines.

If your DMV-area business isn’t focused in the health and wellness industry, you may be tempted to brush this data off. It’s interesting, sure, and maybe you’re personally strong and well; however, this ranking means a lot for your talent, your culture and ultimately your bottom line.

Brand Loyalty

It is clearly an employee’s market, with the current unemployment rate hovering at 3.9 percent nationally, and an even smaller 3.3 percent in the DMV area. Companies cannot rely on the same old tactics to attract and engage today’s talent. Attracting quality talent is of vital importance to thrive as a successful company, and retaining that quality talent is even more important. Frequent turnover can be costly to your brand, culture and bottom line.

Wellness Values

When choosing an employer, 87% of employees said they consider health and wellness offerings, according to a Virgin Health survey. With high rates of individuals in Arlington holding health & wellness as a lifestyle, any company - in the wellness industry or not - can tap into this wellness-focused lifestyle to drive loyalty and meet their business goals.

On a more broad scale, Millennials and Gen Z - a growing portion of the workforce - know health is clearly the new wealth, and they’re living that out in their daily life. With the exception of family, health & wellness is Millennials’ highest-ranked value; Gen Z also highly values a holistic view of health, emphasizing physical fitness, healthy eating and mental well-being as important considerations in their wide view of wellness.

The importance of attracting Millennials and Gen Z to your company cannot be overstated.

The Importance of Millennials and Gen Z

Millennials and Gen Z are quickly becoming a significant portion of the workforce; by 2020, Gen Z will be 40% of workers, and millennials are expected to make up 50% of the workforce within the year according to MarketWatch. How these generations choose their employers will be important knowledge for any company wanting to continue growth.

“Working for an organization that aligns with their social compass is important and could be, or most likely will be, the deciding factor when Gen Z chooses their career and the company they work for,” according to the BridgeWorks Report on Gen Z.


How Your Company Can Tap into Wellness to Drive Loyalty

What does this mean for you? On a company level, particularly in the Washington, D.C. and Arlington metro area, wellness needs to go beyond simply a fitness challenge to attract and retain top-tier talent locally. Surprisingly, it can be more simple than you might think.

By infusing wellness into programs you are already implementing -- such as recruitment, new hire on-boarding, incentives, recognition and more -- you allow your employees multiple touchpoints to represent your company’s value of wellness.

Companies like Amazon -- ranked the best place to work in 2018 by LinkedIn -- already get this. They chose the fittest city in America to place its HQ2 because it understands wellness is a value people desire and makes the locale more attractive to recruit younger candidates.


At SoHookd, we specialize in helping companies across industries use wellness to drive customer and employee loyalty. Set up a call with us to learn more about how we can help your company use wellness to attract and retain high-quality talent.