For the sixth consecutive year, global well-being improvement leader Healthways
(NASDAQ: HWAY) and world-leading management consulting firm Gallup
have released their analysis of the state of well-being across the
United States. North Dakota and West Virginia bookended the list, with
top and bottom rankings, respectively. The analysis is based on data
from the Gallup-Healthways
Well-Being Index®, a definitive measure and empiric
database of real-time changes in well-being throughout the world. More
than 178,000 interviews nationwide fueled the 2013 analysis, which
examined Americans' perceptions on topics such as physical and emotional
health, healthy behaviors, work environment, social and community
factors, financial security, and access to necessities such as food,
shelter and healthcare, to create a composite well-being rank for each
The ten states with the highest well-being in the nation are:
Certain states stand out for specific well-being achievements, as
reported by their residents. Colorado, for example, is always at or near
the best in the nation for the lowest obesity rate. Utah has the lowest
smoking rate. Massachusetts residents have had the greatest access to
health insurance in all six years that the rankings have occurred. New
Jersey has the lowest levels of depression, and people in Vermont eat
more produce than people in any other state.
"States that score high in well-being have achieved success in creating
environments where people can live their best lives, something that goes
far beyond physical wellness and traditional health risk factors,"
Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being
Index. "Individuals in these states are motivated to achieve their
goals, enjoy what they do each day, feel safe and financially secure,
have pride in their communities, and have the supportive relationships
and good health they need to get things done each day. We not only
commend the top finishers but recognize Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa,
Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Vermont for achieving the distinction
of being in the top 10 for two years in a row."
Understanding the Vlue of Well-Being
According to James
E. Pope, M.D., senior vice president and chief science officer at
Healthways, both measuring and improving well-being are becoming
increasingly important to governments, communities, healthcare
organizations and employers.
"Achieving high levels of well-being is a strategic imperative for all
types of organizations because it unlocks economic value on so many
levels. In short, healthier people cost less and perform better," Dr.
Pope stated. "Our partnership with Gallup helps us continue to advance
the science of well-being and create a definitive measure of well-being
for individuals and across populations. Measuring well-being ultimately
helps organizations systematically improve well-being because
measurement helps organizations establish a baseline, determine where
they should invest resources and then identify the impact of those
Research shows a strong link between well-being, healthcare costs and
engagement in the workplace. Each point in well-being improvement
equates to a statistically significant percent decrease in the
likelihood of hospital admission and emergency room visits and in the
likelihood of incurring healthcare costs.
For a community, the achievement of higher well-being for its citizens
yields competitive advantage for economic development and job creation.
For employers, it means greater productivity and better health in the
workforce and dependent families, resulting in better business
performance. For individuals, it simply means living well, longer.
"Comparatively speaking, the difference between states is not as notable
as the fact that so much room for improvement still exists, even for the
top states," said Ben
R. Leedle, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Healthways.
"Steady improvement in well-being is indeed possible even where
well-being is already strong, as Montana, Vermont, Nebraska and Iowa
have shown these last several years. Consumers have made the connection
between lifestyles and behaviors, and between quality of life and
longevity. Strong leadership and proven solutions that identify
opportunities, break down barriers and encourage sustained consumer
engagement in well-being improvement activities are the key to
community, organizational and individual transformation."
Working Together to Improve the Health of Populations and Individuals
In 2008, Gallup and Healthways initiated a 25-year partnership merging
decades of clinical research and development expertise, health
leadership and behavioral economics research to track and understand the
key factors that drive well-being. Together, the organizations have
built the world's largest data set on well-being to support their mutual
goals of helping governments, communities and businesses better
understand and improve the health of both populations and individuals.
Launched that same year, the Well-Being Index provides unmatched,
in-depth insight into the well-being of populations. Gallup conducts 500
telephone interviews a day with Americans to gather their perceptions of
well-being, for a resulting sample that represents an estimated 95
percent of all U.S. households. In 2013, Gallup and Healthways extended
the reach of the Well-Being Index beyond the United States; global
leaders now have the ability to benchmark the well-being of their
country against the results of roughly 140 countries around the world.
To access the "State of American Well-Being: 2013 State Rankings and
Analysis," report visit http://info.healthways.com/wbi2013.
The full "State of American Well-Being: 2013 State, Community and
Congressional District Analysis" will be available online in April at http://info.healthways.com/wbi2013.
Gallup delivers forward-thinking research, analytics, and advice to help
leaders solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 75 years
of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the
attitudes and behaviors of the world's constituents, employees, and
customers than any other organization. Gallup consultants help private
and public sector organizations boost organic growth through measurement
tools, strategic advice, and education. Gallup's 2,000 professionals
deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, and in nearly
40 offices around the world.
Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of
well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier
world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior
change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our
customers, which include employers, integrated health systems,
hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government
entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each
individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant's
health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are
achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of
everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary
technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30
years and now serves approximately 45 million people on four continents.
Learn more at www.healthways.com.
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