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Ann Arbor Metropolitan Area Ranked in Top 10 for Well-Being in 2012!


In a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being survey released earlier this year, the Ann Arbor area scored well in a number of categories, including a #1 ranking for Life Evaluation Index. The overall well-being score is determined by asking respondents to rate the following six areas: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities.

An excerpt from’s article states:  High wellbeing cities tend to exhibit many shared characteristics, including positive health and wellbeing outcomes -- like low chronic disease rates and high life ratings -- and behaviors such as frequent exercise and less smoking. These commonalities consistently demonstrate a mutual foundation upon which the top cities ascertain and maintain their status as standard bearers of wellbeing in America.

Compared to low wellbeing cities, residents of high wellbeing cities usually have much lower rates of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and physical pain. They rate their lives higher today and in the future, and are much more likely to think that the city or area where they reside is "getting better as a place to live." They are more likely to have enough money for food, medicine, and shelter. They are less likely to be depressed and are more likely to report positive workplaces.

The behaviors and choices occupants of high wellbeing cities make also distinguish them from their low wellbeing counterparts, and can serve as a good example for the leaders of other cities to pursue in their own communities. For example, residents of high wellbeing cities exercise more, but their leaders also create more safe places for people to go to exercise. They eat more fruits and vegetables, but their leaders also establish safer, more readily accessible places to access their produce. They are more likely to have health insurance and to go to the dentist, but they also have leaders who help ensure that all have enough money for healthcare. And residents in high wellbeing cities are less likely to carry sadness on any given day, but also live in communities where their leaders afford them more opportunities to learn and do interesting things. The fact that many of the highest wellbeing cities continue to be university towns or cities with a robust academic presence may not be a coincidence, given the potential that local colleges can have on the local culture of wellbeing.

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