What is well-being? How do you measure it? And how do Seattle and Washington state measure up in terms of healthy behaviors and happy outlook?
Ross Reynolds talked to Dr. Carter Coberley, vice president of Health Research and Outcomes at Healthways Center in Franklin, Tennessee, about a social-measurement index that goes beyond the gross domestic product or the Dow Jones Industrial average.
The Well-Being Index score is an average of six variables, which examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities. The index is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where a score of 100 would represent ideal well-being.
Overall well-being for Washingtonians in 2012 was 67.7 percent, with higher scores in the basic access and emotional health categories, and lower scores for work environment and life evaluation. Still a good score, although Washington was beat out by other states such as Montana, Colorado and North Dakota. What state is number one? Sunny, tropical Hawaii claims the prize.
And how does Seattle’s Well-Being Index score compare to other cities across the country? Check out the list of the top 10 cities for overall well-being in America. Seattle ranks number 8, and has seen significant increases in job satisfaction and healthy behavior.
Other significant health trends contributing to overall well-being in Seattle include a decline in obesity since 2010 along with similar declines in high blood pressure and cholesterol.
How about you? How do you measure your sense of well-being? Try this interactive tool from The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and see how your ideas of a “better life” measure up to other countries around the world.
The full 2012 State of Well-Being report can be found on Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index website.