Healthiest States in the USA: Get Off the Couch and Onto This List

Katy Shipley | | BrainsBrains
Mountain Biking, Healthiest
Colorado sits at the top of the leader board. Image: Steamboat Resort

America, the land of cheese burgers, french fries, and the freedom to eat deadly amounts of both.  But while America is sometimes criticized for it sedentary lifestyle, not all states are created equal.  It’s hard to generalize a country that contains 50 states, each with their own way of life.  In a National Health Statistics Report released this summer by the CDC, several states stood out on both sides of the spectrum.

“The 2008 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) federal physical activity guidelines recommend that, for substantial health benefits, adults perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities 2 or more days per week”

CDC Healthiest
National Health Report results by the CDC. Image: CDC

First, let’s take a look at who measures their wealth in health. 

#1. Colorado

#2, Idaho

  • 31.4% of population meets government standards

#3. Washington D.C.

  • 30.7% of population meets government standards

#4. New Hampshire

#5. Vermont

It’s hard not to notice that some of the most active states are ones that we see in ski industry news all the time.  Vermont, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Colorado all offer fantastic recreation activities in the mountains.

aspen, healthiest
Faceshots = Good Health. Image: Aspen Snowmass

With over 20 ski resorts, 300 days of sunshine, and 300 inches of average snowfall, of course Colorado is full of happy, healthy people and ranked #1.  There must be something in that mountain water…

So who falls on the other end of the spectrum?  When counting the number of pow days in Mississippi, it became clear why these states ended up in the bottom five.

#1 Mississippi

  • 13.5% of population meets government standards

#2. Kentucky

  • 14.6% of population meets government standards

#3. South Carolina

  • 14.8% of population meets government standards

#4. Indiana

  • 15.1% of population meets government standards

#5. Arkansas

  • 15.7% of population meets government standards
Burgers, Healthiest
This might be the reason Mississippi comes in as the least healthy state. Image: Burgers and Blues

The national average sits at 22.9%.  Not bad considering the goal by 2020 was 20.1%.  Even though some states, (especially those in the Southeast) have trouble meeting the quota, the CDC continues to measure progress and strives to meet their goal across all states.

wanderlust, healthiest
Wanderlust yoga classes on Lake Tahoe, CA. Image: Wanderlust

So if you are looking for a place to settle down, consider the Far West, the Rockies, or the Northeast.  These regions make it easy to live longer, have fun, and contribute to America’s percentage while doing it.

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