10/3/2012 - Asheville 1 of top 10 'Sharpest Cities' in U.S.
by Asheville Citizen Times
Asheville has made a list of the Top 10 "Sharpest Cities" in the nation, as compiled by Reader's Digest.
The list reflects the magazine's assessment of where residents may be most likely to remain "sharp" into their golden years.
"Whether you get bogged down by brain fog or remain as smart as a whip until your ninth decade has a lot to do with the healthiness of your community," according to a press release. "That's because 'sharpness' -- present-day smarts as well as maintaining a healthy mind at low risk for dementia -- depends on education level, eating and exercise habits, health conditions and sociability, according to the latest brain-health studies."
Leading experts on cognition developed a formula to determine a city's sharpness, and then the magazine analyzed the traits of 120 large U.S. cities.
Asheville came in at No. 10 for the nation, its "sharp traits" listed as "spirituality and volunteerism."
The complete Top 10 is:
o 1. San Francisco -- Sharp trait: Farmer's markets, which help ensure that residents fill up on plenty of brain-healthy foods.
o 2. Arlington, Va. -- Sharp trait: Education. Seven in 10 residents hold at least a bachelors degree, far above the national average.
o 3. Fremont, Calif. -- Sharp traits: Low smoking rate and high creativity levels.
o 4. Seattle -- Sharp trait: Exercise, which increases blood flow to the brain.
o 5. Madison, Wis. -- Sharp trait: Diabetes prevention.
o 6. Portland, Ore. -- Sharp traits: Biking and seasonal eating.
o 7. Salt Lake City -- Sharp traits: Libraries with circulation rates nearly double the national average.
o 8. Scottsdale, Ariz. -- Sharp trait: Parks, which increase good moods.
o 10. Asheville -- Sharp trait: Spirituality and volunteerism.