There are a number of national health rankings where our state sits at the middle of the pack and we know there is a lot of work to do in those areas. But a new poll, just released by Gallup-Healthways, puts Arizona number two in well-being among people aged 55 and over!
The states with the highest levels of well-being among older people are Hawaii, Arizona, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Colorado; the lowest levels are in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Indiana.
“The 55 and over crowd in those top states…report always making time for regular trips and vacations with family and friends, reaching their goals in the last 12 months, using their strengths and aptitudes as a human being, in other words, doing things that are a natural right fit for them,” said Dan Witters, research director for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
The Gallup-Healthways poll determined its well-being score based on answers to questions in several key well-being areas.
- sense of purpose,
- social relationships,
- financial lives,
- community involvement and,
- physical health.
According to Newsmax.com, Arizona and Hawaii were the only two states to rank in the top 5 in three of those well-being categories. As you can see in the infograph below, our state finished as the top state in social relationships, described by the poll as “having supportive relationships and love in your life.” Arizona also ranked fourth in sense of purpose (“liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals“) and fifth in physical health (“having good health and enough energy to get things done daily“)
Yahoo.com wrote that the poll indicated “well-being gets better with age, and adults 55 and older have higher well-being than the rest of the population across all five elements, outscoring the younger population by a sizable margin. In addition, older Americans eat more fresh produce, smoke less, and their levels of worry and stress substantially decline beginning at age 65.”
And it appears many older Americans do that best when they are living in Arizona! Let us know what you think about this new poll and how we might be able to use it to encourage better health across all age groups and all populations in our state. The healthier we are, the closer we get to our long-term goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!