U.S. News, in collaboration with Aetna, compiles a list of the 500 healthiest communities in the U.S. Here are the top 15. You can follow the link if you’re interested in seeing whether your community made the list. My current one did (# 7). Several other places I’ve lived made the list, too (Boulder and Larimer Counties, Colorado and Centre, Cumberland, and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania).
One thing I noticed is that Colorado is overrepresented. I’m not surprised. The state attracts health-conscious and active people, and the culture supports it.
Lists like this one are a reminder of a point I’ve frequently made: place matters. Frankly, it’s easier to live a healthy lifestyle when the climate and culture support healthy living. And where the economy supports infrastructure investments (e.g., trails, parks, etc.).
I didn’t check, but I suspect most if not all of these communities on the list of 500 are wealthy — relative to the average county, that is. Frankly, a healthy lifestyle can be seen as a luxury. There’s something about that that doesn’t seem right.