According to the 2012 Bloomberg’s Rankings, the U.S. is the 33rd healthiest nation out of 145 with populations of one million or greater. Surprisingly, Canada and all of the European countries listed ranked higher. Total health-scores were based on infant mortality and life expectancy rates, age factors and causes of death. Then lifestyle, medical and environmental risk factors were subtracted from that score to achieve a ranking. The top 5: Singapore, Italy, Australia, Switzerland and Japan all share high standards of hygiene and environmental consciousness; heart-healthy diets and portion control measures; along with more physically active lifestyles.
Taking a page from the world’s book, many American cities are encouraging their residents to become more active and eat healthier by supporting the growth of farm-to-table restaurants, organic markets and community gardens. Major metropolises are adopting bike-sharing programs, expanding their green spaces, and constructing more walking paths to promote greater physical activity. Each year, the American Fitness Index lists the 50 most fit places to live and here are a few of the top 10:
- # 1 Minneapolis, MN: Top honor goes to this northern metropolitan area for its clean air, plentiful farmers’ markets, golf courses, fitness centers and playgrounds. Smoking is banned in public places and residents have a low incidence of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.
- # 2 Washington, DC: The nation’s capital has plenty of trails, even closing some roads on weekends to accommodate joggers and cyclists. Washingtonians eat more fruits and vegetables and smoke less than other Americans, resulting in low rates of diabetes and heart disease.
- #8 Seattle, WA: Although the city has fewer parkland than most, Seattle residents tend to be above average when it comes to physical fitness. More of them bike or walk to work, eat healthier and schools have a higher PE requirement than elsewhere in the country.
- #9 Virginia Beach, VA: With access to excellent healthcare and 89% of its residents covered by insurance, it is no wonder that the city has some of the lowest rates of angina and cardiovascular disease. Add to that a multitude of sports venues and you can’t help but be healthy and active.
Want to learn more about how you can make one of these healthy and fit environments your new home? Call the Centra Team at 800 535 0076. We have great opportunities for CHTs, OTs, COTAs, PTs, PTAs, NPs, RNs, Nurse Managers, Rehab Managers and SLPs.