The Big Chair sculpture in Anacostia.

The Big Chair sculpture in Anacostia.

For two years in a row, Washington, D.C. has been named the fittest city in America. But vast disparities in fitness facilities exist across the city’s eight wards. There are no private gyms east of the Anacostia River, and while 95 percent of D.C. lives within a ten-minute walk to a park, the spike in crime in some neighborhoods has made outdoor exercise a less than ideal option. We look at the “gym desert” east of the Anacostia, and how access to fitness is affected by the city’s socioeconomic differences.


  • Perry Stein Reporter, Washington Post
  • Autumn Saxton-Ross Program Director for Place-Based Initiatives, National Collaborative for Health Equity
  • Keith Anderson Director of the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation

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