Health News

Mississippi Coast ranks (almost) last in national well-being list

Leonard Vergunst of Ocean Springs has the right idea. A Gallup survey for the 2016 State of American Well-Being report says Coast residents lag most of the nation in getting regular exercise.
Leonard Vergunst of Ocean Springs has the right idea. A Gallup survey for the 2016 State of American Well-Being report says Coast residents lag most of the nation in getting regular exercise. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

We need to move.

A Gallup survey shows residents of the three Coast counties get less exercise than most people in the country. Less than half of Coast residents — 47.3 percent, to be exact — report exercising for at least 30 minutes, three times a week or more.

The Coast came in at No. 182 out of 189 for the least amount of exercise. The lowest score went to the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, North Carolina, metro area, where only 41.8 percent of residents get in that many workouts.

The only other Southern metro area with lower numbers was Montgomery, Alabama, at 45.7.

Jackson put the Coast to shame, so to speak, coming in at No. 52 on the list with 56.1 percent of residents getting regular exercise.

The healthiest communities are out West, in Boulder, Colorado (69.6 percent), Fort Collins, Colorado (67.9 percent) and San Luis Obispo–Paso Robles, California (67 percent).

Almost two-thirds of residents in the top 10 active communities exercise regularly, compared to less than half in the bottom 10, the survey found. The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, the world’s largest data set on well-being, is designed to provide insight about the well-being of individuals and populations.

“This 18-point difference in regular exercise correlates with other positive health and well-being outcomes, including a positive relationship with other health behaviors,” the survey concludes.

“High-exercise communities also benefit from higher rates of healthy eating, more fresh produce consumption and lower rates of smoking. Importantly, these communities have significantly lower disease burden, with residents who have much lower rates of obesity, and report approximately 30% less diagnoses of diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart attack, as compared with the lowest 10 communities.”

At least 300 telephone interviews were gathered for each metropolitan statistical areas included in the results, with a total of 354,473 interviews in 2015 and 2016. The sample can be projected to 95 percent of U.S. adults, the study says.

In the overall well-being report, the Coast ranked No. 170 and Jackson was No. 118 out of 189.

The Coast is known for its recreational opportunities and temperate weather, so there’s not much excuse for sitting around.

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

  Comments