San Francisco, Salt Lake City and San Diego Top List Three Years In a Row
ATLANTA, March 31, 2014 – Does the city you call home enhance your health, or is it prematurely aging you? While your hometown isn’t solely responsible for the state of your health, the people and circumstances surrounding you have a direct affect on your longevity. To help people better understand how their community is impacting their health – and vice versa – Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Jeff Arnold, today announced its 2014 list of the healthiest American cities. The top ten are San Francisco; Salt Lake City; San Diego; Denver; Minneapolis; Washington, D.C.; Hartford, Conn.; Los Angeles; Boston; and Sacramento, Calif.
To rank the healthiest and unhealthiest cities, Sharecare analyzed responses from approximately 600 thousand people living in 50 of the largest metropolitan areas who took the RealAge Test, Sharecare’s scientifically based health risk assessment which determines the biological age of your body based on your health status, and good and bad health habits.
The three healthiest cities – San Francisco, Salt Lake City and San Diego – have retained the top three spots on Sharecare’s list for the last three years for a variety of reasons factored into the RealAge Test. San Francisco can attribute its place at the top to the fact that most of its residents eat lots of fruits and vegetables, don’t smoke tobacco and exercise frequently. In Salt Lake City, few residents smoke; and many eat healthy, sleep well, exercise, have strong social ties and are happily married, a factor that can help lower a person’s risk of heart disease. San Diego’s residents enjoy less stress and more optimism than most people; and their frequent exercise ensures they have the lowest rate of diabetes in the country.
Sharecare’s analysis also revealed the ten American cities whose residents are the most unhealthy and, therefore, aging the fastest: Knoxville, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; Greenville, S.C.; Tampa, Fla.; Greensboro, N.C.; Cincinnati; St. Louis; Las Vegas; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville, Tenn. From increased rates of smoking and infrequent exercise, to high stress from unemployment, lack of insurance and lower incomes, and low vitamin D levels, residents in these cities face increased risk of mortality and lowered life expectancy; though there are many minor lifestyle adjustments they can make to improve their health.
“We all know that things like eating well, not smoking and exercising can help you be healthier, but many don’t realize that little adjustments can make a big difference in how you feel – and how long you may live,” said Dr. Keith Roach, Sharecare’s chief medical officer. “In fact, something as simple as walking 30 minutes each day can increase your life expectancy by 1.5 years.”
For more tips to increase your life expectancy and find out your body’s true age, join Sharecare – membership is free – and take the RealAge Test at www.sharecare.com/realagetest.
Sharecare is a health and wellness engagement platform that helps people to live healthier lives by connecting them to personalized resources including local healthcare providers, high-quality information from experts, interactive programs and clinical decision support tools, including its iOS-exclusive app AskMD. The power behind Sharecare is a unique, social Q&A format that provides the collective wisdom of America’s top experts—greatly simplifying the search for health information – and its scientifically-based health risk assessment, the RealAge® Test, taken by more than 33 million people and validated in peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE as a more accurate predictor of mortality than calendar age and the Framingham Risk Score. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, Sharecare allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice—simply said, sharing care. Launched in 2010, Sharecare is based in Atlanta.