28 January 2016

Want to Feel Better?

Want to feel better, Lower-48ers? Move to Alaska or Hawaii.

Hikers near the top of Bird Ridge above Turnagain Arm in July. Anne Raup / ADN

If you want to improve your sense of well-being, leave the Lower 48.

A new report ranking all 50 states based on residents' sense of well-being puts Hawaii at No. 1, followed by Alaska, which held the top spot last year.

Hawaii has been No. 1 in the poll five times since 2008.

"Alaska and Hawaii are both beautiful states in their own way but distinctly different," said Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Montana, Colorado and Wyoming rounded out the rest of the top five in the State of American Well-Being: 2015 State Rankings report, compiled from a non-scientific telephone survey of residents across the country.

The survey listed the bottom five as Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky and West Virginia, which has been last in the rankings for the past seven years. Kentucky has been No. 49 during the same time.

The ratings are compiled from questions to residents related to five areas, which a variety of questions:
— Purpose (with an example question, do you like what you do each day?)
— Social (do you have loving relationships?)
— Community (do you like where you live?)
— Financial (are you managing your economic life to reduce stress?)
— Physical (how's your health and energy?)

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