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Entries in Gallup (6)

Saturday
Mar022013

Hawaii Tops Well-Being List for Fourth Consecutive Year

iStockphoto/Thinkstock - Hawaii(NEW YORK) -- Hawaii has ranked highest on a well-being survey for the fourth year in a row, according to a new Gallup poll.

Weather wasn’t even a variable. On a local level, in fact, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index showed that Lincoln, Neb., ranked number one, a state that doesn’t share Hawaii’s sultry breezes.

“It’s safe to say weather probably isn’t a factor there,” Bruce Middlebrooks, Healthways spokesman, told ABCNews.com.

Colorado took the runner-up position, on a slate of 50 measures that looked at factors including emotional health, work environment and access to healthcare. West Virginia placed at the bottom of the list, with Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee not far behind — states with low median household incomes, said the survey, released Thursday.

Residents of Hawaii ratcheted up their happiness in 2012 compared even with a year earlier, with a score of 71.1 out of 100 compared with 70.2 in 2011.

Western, Midwestern and New England states generally ranked higher than the rest of the country, while Southern states placed in many of the lowest spots. Rankings remained mostly unchanged since 2008 when Gallup and Healthways began the survey, Gallup said.

The motivation behind the research is to help improve people’s health through awareness and pilot projects on a community level, Dr. James Pope, vice-president and chief science officer of Healthways, told ABCNews.com.

“We knew that people in the U.S. were getting more unhealthy over time and we recognized that there are differences around the country in terms of chronic disease,” Pope said.

Things might be looking up nationwide as the Affordable Care Act of 2010 gets into gear, the Gallup statement noted. The act, which requires all individuals to have health insurance or pay a fine, will make it easier for people to get treatment at no cost for everything from smoking cessation to obesity counseling.

“Certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act … may help low-income individuals improve their wellbeing, if they aware of and take advantage of them,” Gallup said.

Massachusetts, the state with the highest percentage of residents with health insurance in the country, scored the top rank for access to “basic necessities,” the survey noted. This category also looked at whether residents believed they had enough money for food, shelter and medicine, a safe place to exercise and access to clean water. Mississippi ranked lowest here.

Vermont wins when it comes to healthy behaviors. Residents in that state had the highest percentage of residents who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables at least four days per week, according to the survey, which was based on telephone interviews with 350,000 Americans. On an individual level, the survey found that doctors were typically in better health than the average person and those who “are engaged in their work” were likely to lead healthier lifestyles.

In 2011, the index defined the happiest person in America as a tall, Asian-American male 65 or older, a resident of Hawaii who’s married with children, religious, owns a business and earns more than $120,000 a year.

It’s important to note that individuals and communities are malleable, however, said Dr. Lindsay Sears, principal investigator at Healthways. With the right policies put in place by healthcare groups and local businesses, especially, big changes can happen.

“People can really change over time,” she said. “You might think people or even communities are the way they are, but we’ve seen from five years of research that people are able to change and sustain that change.”

A Hawaiian psychologist chalked up her native state’s top spot to a relaxing natural landscape and a local culture that prizes collectivism.

“Thank aloha spirit that’s hard to define,” June Ching, a Honolulu-based clinical psychologist, told ABCNews.com.

As Ching spoke, she was driving into a parking lot and an attendant left her booth to hand the ticket to Ching, who couldn’t reach it.

“A perfect example of what I mean,” said Ching, a former president of the Hawaii Psychological Association. “[Hawaiian culture] has been composed of a lot of people with values that have to do with the family and a sense of collectivism. We’re working together.”

As for the stunning scenery, “I love not having seasonal affective disorder because we have the sun,” Ching said. “The sky has a different kind of blue that soothes you.”

Click here to see where your state ranks.

Highest-Ranked States

    Hawaii
    Colorado
    Minnesota
    Utah
    Vermont
    Montana
    Nebraska
    New Hampshire
    Iowa
    Massachusetts

Lowest-Ranked States

    Oklahoma
    Indiana
    Louisiana
    Ohio
    Alabama
    Arkansas
    Tennessee
    Mississippi
    Kentucky
    West Virginia

Highest-Ranked Metropolitan Areas

    Lincoln, Neb.
    Boulder, Colo.
    Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.
    Provo-Orem, Utah
    Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
    Barnstable Town, Mass.
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Ann Arbor, Mich.
    Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C., Va., Md., W. Va.
    San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb042011

Gallup: Caregivers Suffer Poorer Physical Health

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Americans who work a full-time job and care for an elderly or disabled family member or friend, suffer from poorer physical health than those who work full-time but do not have caregiving responsibilities, according to results from a recent Gallup poll.

Caregivers, representing 16 percent of full-time workers in the American workforce, have a Physical Health Index of 77.4 -- significantly lower than the 83.0 found among non-caregivers.

As for overall well-being, Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 working full-time suffer the effects of caregiving more than any other group, the report stated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

Gallup: Religious Americans Lead Healthier Lives

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(PRINCETON, N.J.) – A new study found that the most religious Americans are more likely to lead healthy lives.
 
According to Gallup, Americans who were found to be very religious, meaning they attend their chosen religious gathering at least every week or almost every week, scored a 66.3 on the Gallup-Healthways Healthy Behavior Index. The index accounts for eating, exercise and smoking behaviors.

Americans who were classified as moderately religious scored a 60.6 on the index while those considered nonreligious scored a 58.3.

The study found that very religious Americans are likely to make healthier eating choices and exercise more often. The most significant difference in health among the groups was smoking, with nonreligious individuals being 85 percent more likely to smoke than the very religious.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec032010

Nurses Beat Other Professions for 11th Time in Honesty and Ethics Survey

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PRINCETON, N.J.) -- Gallup reports that 81 percent of Americans surveyed said that nurses have "very high" or "high" honesty and ethical standards.  This is significantly greater than the next-highest-rated professions -- military officers and pharmacists.

Gallup only began to ask Americans to rate the honesty and ethics of nurses since 1999.  Since then, the profession has topped the list in all but one year -- 2001.

Car salespeople, lobbyists and members of Congress received the lowest honesty and ethics ratings by Americans with a mere nine percent "very high" rating for members of Congress and a lower seven percent for car salespeople and lobbyists.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov192010

Americans Optimistic about Nation's Health Care

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Public opinion on health care quality and coverage in the US is more positive now than it has been for the past decade.

This is according to the latest Gallup Health and Healthcare poll. The poll found that 62-percent of Americans rate the quality of the nation’s health care as excellent or good. This percentage is five points higher than last year’s figure.

The opinion on health care coverage wasn’t quite as positive, with the poll’s results showing that only 39-percent of Americans rated coverage as excellent or good. This figure stands at just one percentage point higher than last year’s figure.

These figures are the highest ever recorded since Gallup began conducting the poll in 2001.

The poll also found that only 23-percent of Americans are satisfied with the cost of health care in the nation.


Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov182010

Americans Divided Over Healthcare Coverage

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(PRINCETON, NJ) – Americans remain split over whether it is the job of the government to provide all citizens with healthcare coverage, according to a new Gallup Poll.

Exactly half of those polled do not believe the federal government is responsible for healthcare insurance, while 47 percent believe it is.

The poll also showed that 61 percent of Americans prefer a healthcare system backed by private insurance versus a government-run program. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio