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Washington State News

Washington Ranked No. 8 on ‘Healthiest States Index’

Photo by David Mark on Pixabay

(The Center Square) – Washington state cracked the top 10 in terms of healthiest states in the nation, according to a new study by BarBend that ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Washington came in at No. 8.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based fitness advice platform determined rankings on its “Healthiest States Index” using 13 contributing indicators across three main categories: lifestyle behavior, health status, and available fitness infrastructure.

The study used the latest available data from the U.S. Census and Centers for Disease Control and Preventions published between 2015 and 2022 for U.S. residents 18 and over.

Nearly six in 10 – 57.9% – of the adult population in the Evergreen State is aerobically active for the recommended minimum of 150 minutes per week, per the study. Furthermore, 32.6% of adults living in Washington work out to strengthen their muscles at least twice a week.  

To provide some context, the report notes that on average, 50.3% of all adults in the country meet the benchmark of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination. Meanwhile, 30.5% engage in muscle-building exercises at least twice a week.

As for consumption of fruits and vegetables, 12.6% of adults in Washington eat the recommended amount of fruit daily, and 10.9% of adults in Washington consume their daily recommended intake of vegetables. Both figures are only slightly better than the national averages of 12.2% and 9.3%, respectively.

Per the study, 12% of adults in Washington are smokers, 14.4% are binge drinkers, and 28% are obese. Those figures compare to the national rates of 16.6%, 17.4%, and 31.9%, respectively.

Washington scored well when it comes to fitness infrastructure.

“The fitness infrastructure in Washington is made up of 1,001 fitness and recreational sports centers, meaning that there are 16.61 fitness establishments per 100,000 adults,” spokesperson Ruxanda Josan said in an email. “The national mean average stands at 11.89, with only nine states falling below this. There are also 384.42 fitness employees for every 100,000 adults in Washington, compared to 306.57 nationwide, reflecting the demand for fitness services in this state.”

Washington gyms are creating jobs and driving economic growth, according to the Washington state page of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, a Boston, Massachusetts-based trade organization serving the global health club and fitness industry.

According to the IHRSA, Washington has 32,636 health club employees with $217.3 million in total payroll benefits, as well as $517.4 million in revenue that includes $23.1 million paid in payroll taxes.

The 10 healthiest states and state designates:

  • 1. District of Columbia
  • 2. Utah
  • 3. New Jersey
  • 4. Colorado
  • 5. California
  • 6. Massachusetts
  • 7. Connecticut
  • 8. Washington
  • 9. Maryland
  • 10. Vermont

The 10 least healthy states:

  • 51. West Virginia
  • 50. Kentucky
  • 49. Mississippi
  • 48. Arkansas
  • 47. Alabama
  • 46. Oklahoma
  • 45. Louisiana
  • 44. South Dakota
  • 43. South Carolina
  • 42. Iowa