A community with high well-being is one where citizens and employees are satisfied with their lifestyle and overall health. In this year’s Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, top honors go to Provo-Orem, Utah.

Communities in Colorado, Hawaii and California rounded out the top five.

Gallup and Healthways’ new State of American Well-Being: 2013 State, Community and Congressional District Analysis finds that Provo-Orem recorded 71.4 Well-Being Index composite score. It previously gained the top spot in 2008 and was ranked No. 4 between 2009 and 2011.

Of the 189 communities analyzed, Boulder ranked No. 2 (71.3) and Fort Collins-Loveland, Co. ranked No. 3 (71.1). Honolulu, Hawaii (70.7) held the No. 4 spot and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (70.6) ranked No. 5.  

Increasing citizens’ well-being can offer a “competitive advantage for economic development and job creation and it lowers disease burden and health care costs,” said James E. Pope, MD, a senior vice president and chief science officer at Healthways and Jim Harter, Ph.D., Gallup’s chief scientist for workplace management and well-being.

Other top scorers include San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif. for workplace environment well-being, Ann Arbor, Mich. for life evaluation, Honolulu for emotional health, Holland-Grand Haven, Mich. for physical health and Salinas, Calif. for having exceptional health behaviors.

For employers, a 10% increase in well-being score can equate to a 5% reduction in unscheduled absences and a 5% increase in the performance of essential job duties, according to the report.

“For employers, it means greater productivity and lower costs in the workforce, and better business performance,” state Pope and Harter in the March 25 report’s introduction. “For health plans and health systems, it means improved clinical outcomes and lower costs.”

Earlier in the month, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that that the percentage of individuals obtaining their health insurance from their current or former employers dropped by two percentage points to 43.14% in 2014’s first quarter. The poll – which tracked nearly 28,000 adults between Jan. 2 and Feb. 28 – notes that 18.1% of Americans obtain their primary health insurance through a plan fully paid for by themselves or a family member.

However, the March 10 report stated that the percentage of the national sample without health insurance continues to fall to 15.9%, a nearly 1.2% drop since the end of 2013.

Additional research from the joint research project found that 66% of Americans are satisfied with the current health system as more expected changes from the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandate continue their rollout.

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