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 for communities,
states and congressional districts in the United States. Provo-Orem,
Utah, and Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio, bookended the
communities 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.
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 are analyzed to create a composite well-being rank for each
The new State
of American Well-Being report provides overall well-being rankings
for the 189 largest U.S. communities as well as rankings for all U.S.
states and congressional districts. The report also includes insights on
well-being influencers, including but not limited to smoking, obesity
and job satisfaction.
The ten communities with the highest well-being in the nation are:
Certain communities stand out for specific well-being achievements, as
reported by their residents. Boulder for example has the nation's lowest
obesity rate at 12.4%, making it the only community in the United States
covered by the report that meets the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's stated goal of 15% obesity rate or lower. Provo-Orem has
the lowest self-reported smoking rate at 7.0%, while Honolulu has the
best self-reported emotional health. Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the
lowest levels of self-reported depression, and residents of Olympia,
Washington, say they eat more produce than people in any other
community. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont
and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria are the three large (1 million+)
metropolitan areas with the highest well-being in the nation.
"Increased well-being is vital to improving the physical, emotional and
financial health of Americans, and communities that score high in
well-being have achieved success in creating environments where people
can live their best lives," explained Dan
Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being
Index. "Well-being goes far beyond physical wellness and traditional
health risk factors, and we commend the top communities for cultivating
and supporting environments where people are motivated to achieve their
goals, enjoy what they do, feel safe and financially secure, and have
the supportive relationships and good health they need to get things
done each day."
"There are tangible policies that communities can adopt to actively
cultivate and improve residents' well-being," said Dan Buettner,
National Geographic Fellow, New York Times best-selling author
and founder of Blue Zones®, a company that puts the world's
best practices in longevity and well-being to work in people's lives.
"Policies that nudge people into healthy activities - where it's easy to
walk to the store, bike to a friend's house, get access to fresh
produce, and be surrounded by healthy-minded, supportive friends - are
ones that make the healthy choice also the easy choice. Sustained
transformation depends on building an environment and establishing
social policies that support and reinforce these programs."
A Successful Approach to Community Well-Being Transformation
As part of a strategic approach to community well-being improvement and
transformation, Buettner partnered with Healthways in 2010 to develop
Zones Project to make healthy choices easier through changes to
environment, policy, and social networks. The Project has been
successfully implemented in 17 communities in the U.S., including the
Beach Cities communities of Southern California (Hermosa, Manhattan and
Redondo), Albert Lea, Minnesota, and the entire state of Iowa, with
additional Project initiatives underway for Fort Worth, Texas, and the
entire state of Hawaii.
For the 123,000 residents of the Beach Cities of Southern California,
the Project's success has led to measurable improvement in well-being,
resulting in millions of dollars in community and business healthcare
savings through reduced rates of obesity and smoking and increased rates
of exercise and fresh produce consumption. Beach Cities outcomes as
measured through the Well-Being Index include the following:
"The Beach Cities Well-Being Index findings confirm that health and
quality of life in a community can be measurably improved by taking a
holistic approach to addressing not only physical health but also the
social and emotional factors that are pivotal to greater well-being,"
said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and chief executive
officer. "Whether you're an individual who wants to live better, an
employer who understands well-being's relationship to workforce and
business performance, a healthcare organization focused on improving
outcomes, or a government that wants to improve the economic health and
vitality of its community, the significant progress made in the Beach
Cities underscores the importance of emphasizing community
transformation as part of a total population health management
Working Together to Improve the Health of Populations and Individuals
In 2007, 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 countries, governments, communities and businesses
better understand and improve the health of both populations and
Launched January 2, 2008, 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 140 countries around the world.
To access "State of American Well-Being: 2013 State, Community and
Congressional District Analysis," visit http://info.healthways.com/wbi2013.
Individual reports for each of the 50 states will be available online in
April via the same link.
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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