Across the United States, most states have enacted initiatives to make their citizens healthy. These include "move more" campaigns, diabetes screenings, and efforts to stop teen smoking. The United Health Foundation breaks it all down and examines top health considerations. Let's look at the states that make the top eight.
Colorado has a reputation for being an outdoor lover's dream. There's always something to do in the Centennial State. During the summer, endless trails and pristine waters make hiking and boating regular activities. During the winter, locals and visitors alike hit the slopes to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
It's hard to beat Minnesota's stats when it comes to physical health. The state ranks number one when it comes to reducing premature deaths, cardiovascular deaths, and frequent occurrences of physical distress and mental distress. Overall, it appears Minnesota residents are pretty healthy.
So what is it about the state that makes its residents so healthy? We'd wager it has something to do with the state's natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities. Minnesota is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." This allows for plenty of boating, water skiing, and long walks around the lake. In the winter, residents stay active with ice sports such as hockey and skating.
New Hampshire is great at providing that small-town feel, and maybe it's that sense of community that helps make New Hampshire one the healthiest states in the country. According to the United Health Foundation, New Hampshire comes in at the top when it comes to community and environment. It's best in the country when it comes to low childhood poverty and ranks number two for air pollution and infectious disease.
When it comes to physical health, New Hampshire residents like to keep active. The state tied for third when it comes to the percentage of adults who meet the suggested exercise guidelines, with 30.7% of adults keeping up with physical activity.
Utah has the lowest percentage of adults who indulge in excessive drinking, it ranks best when it comes to smoking, and it's number four when it comes to obesity.
Like many of the other states on the list, Utah is a mecca for outdoor activities. Zion National Park attracts thousands of visitors a year, and the mountains provide some of the best skiing in the country.
Some 626,000 people live in Vermont. But those who do are some of the healthiest in the country. North of New York and just south of Canada, Vermont provides some of the most brutal winters but also some of the most beautiful scenery the country has to offer. There's something to be said for peace and tranquility.
The state is among the best when it comes to air pollution and crime. According to US News, it also ranks in the top 10 for education, opportunity, and natural environment.
When you look at Connecticut's health stats, it's easy to say that nothing really stands out to make the state great. But the thing to note is that there's nothing particularly bad. While most states have at least one category where they are among the worst, Connecticut rates in the top 15 in almost every single category. But there are a few areas the state really shines in. Connecticut makes the top 10 list of least obese states, and it also has some of the lowest rates of uninsured citizens.
Only 2.8% of all Massachusetts residents are uninsured. This means that residents are more able to get the care they need. They also have high rates of immunization and rank number one in providing mental health care providers.
Massachusetts also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, which can help with overall stress and health. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that the state's capital city, Boston, has one of the highest percentages of college graduates in the country, with 44% of the population having at least a bachelor's degree.
Hawaii sets itself apart as being the only state on the list that doesn't see a healthy dose of snow every year. But one trait it does share with the others on the list is its endless supply of outdoor activities. While skiing and snowboarding are out of the question, there are plenty of difficult hikes to keep residents in shape. With beautiful weather year-round, it's easy to enjoy swimming and scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean.