The 10 Healthiest Cities in the United States
Where are the healthiest places to live?
Do you have a goal to live a healthier life this year? You’re not alone! There are several great health initiatives going on across the country — like franchise restaurants getting rid of artificial ingredients and hospitals adding telemedicine technology — and many individual cities stand out in terms of health. But what does “health” mean? Little sickness? Opportunities to be active? Access to affordable medical care? Because there are multiple ways to measure it, we looked at ten different criteria to determine the healthiest cities.
10 of the healthiest places in America
Here are 10 cities that top lists for different health markers (listed in alphabetical order):
1. Bentonville, AR — a cyclist’s dream
Riding a bicycle is a great low-impact activity that can be as intense as you want — either a leisurely ride around a park or an exciting mountain bike adventure. Topping our list of the best cities for cyclists, this city in Northwest Arkansas has extensive trails including paved, mountain bike paths and a “bike playground” for skills practice. Residents can join riding clubs to meet other fellow cyclists or try a new trail.
2. Boulder, CO — a large farmer’s market
Several days each week in multiple locations, the Boulder County Farmers Markets open to residents and visitors. Because it happens regularly across the area, fresh produce and locally grown products are very accessible to residents. The market has numerous vendors offering everything from local produce, fruit, meat and honey to packaged and prepared foods. Chefs even setup on-site cooking demos to showcase how to cook the amazing in-season products. You can also catch live music and community yoga classes!
3. Cheyenne , WY — great air quality
According to a report from the American Lung Association, Cheyenne tops the list for lowest year-round particle pollution. That means there are more days to be outside being active and breathing easy. Residents can take advantage of all that clean air at one of the eight local parks offering facilities for boating, fishing, bicycling and more.
4. Cleveland , OH — amazing health care options
Residents don’t have to go far to see a doctor or specialist with the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. There are physicians in just about every specialty in Cleveland between the hospitals and two academic medical centers. Cleveland residents have one of the highest amount of hospitals and physicians per person.
5. Fairfield, IA — top spot for yoga
You may be surprised that this Midwestern city is a significant place for yoga lovers. It’s the home of Maharishi University, a yoga school, so it draws yoga practitioners and students alike. Local school-aged students also have the opportunity to attend the unique Maharishi School where students practice yoga and Transcendental Meditation twice a day.
6. Minneapolis, MN — one of the fittest cities in America
The “City of Lakes” can be found on the top of several lists for the healthiest cities. Residents have many opportunities for fitness with numerous recreation centers and parks and there is a high percentage of people walking or biking to work. Topping off their fit living, Minneapolis is home to a Healthy Life Expo with over 200 exhibitors showing residents how to live their healthiest life.
7. Naples, FL — healthy eating
According to a report from Gallup and Sharecare, Naples has the highest percentage of residents who eat healthy. Healthy eating is linked to lower instances of diabetes, depression and high blood pressure, so making good food choices is important. Naples residents have plenty to choose from, with lots of options available at local restaurants. Eateries like The Local and Food & Thought offer vegan and vegetarian options, while Row Seafood has fresh seafood and organic produce on the menu.
8. New York City, NY — most walkable city
Every neighborhood around The Big Apple is great for walking. On the extensive sidewalk system, residents can get just about anywhere on foot. The Mayo Clinic says brisk walking can help you maintain a healthy weight and can even prevent health conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure. See more walkable cities here.
9. San Francisco, CA — great running city
Runners World magazine listed the Golden Gate City as their top running city in the United States. Whether you just hit the pavement and run past iconic sites like Balboa Park, join one of the countless running clubs, or sign up for one of the over 250 annual races, it’s a great place to be fit and active.
10. Seattle, WA — low risk of heart disease
Seattle earned an A+ ranking for their low risk of heart disease from Men’s Health. They looked at many factors including negative ones like the number of people who smoke, don’t exercise or have high blood pressure or cholesterol along with positive contributions like the people who work out, eat healthy and take medication if needed. All of that earned Seattle a top spot for the healthy hearts of its people.
The healthiest states in America
These states were standouts overall and provided great benefits for residents.
1. Massachusetts — access to mental health care
Mental health includes helping you cope with the stresses of life, along with dealing with disorders. Massachusetts residents have the highest concentration of mental health providers in the United States, so they have lots of opportunity to seek the support they need.
2. South Dakota — best for sleeping
While the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that at least 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders and sleep problems, South Dakota residents are pretty well rested. Over 70% of their residents get at least 7 hours of sleep each night (the NSF recommends 7-9 hours for adults).
3. Hawaii — low rate of obesity
Hawaii has a low number of obese residents, with only 23.8% of adults reported as overweight. While they aren’t the lowest in the country (Colorado was at 22.3%), Hawaii earned a spot on our list because they have many policies in place to help prevent obesity including healthy eating policies and screen time limit for child care centers.
How healthy is your city?
We know you can’t always move cross country to one of the healthiest or fittest cities, but you can take control of your health where you are. Check to see how your city ranks in the CDC 500 Cities project. Maybe you could volunteer for an organization that can make a difference in your town or start an initiative at your work or school to make an impact!