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Youngstown Hits Near Bottom For National Quality Of Life Rankings

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If you live in Provo-Orem, Utah, congrats on your community’s top ranking for U.S. quality of life and general well-being. But chances are you’re hearing this in Ohio…and if you’re a resident of the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman area, well…let’s just say at least you’re not dead last. We’ll let ideastream’s Brian Bull break the news…..

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

The Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index surveys people on factors including emotional health, fitness, and life evaluation.

For 2013, Mahoning Valley residents ranked 175th out of 189.

Under half routinely exercised, and nearly a third are obese.

"Definitely the Youngstown area seems to have more of a kinda `wait until something’s broke to fix mentality’," says Ronald Mangie, an Associate Doctor at Healthsource. The wellness center serves the region.

Mangie says Youngstown’s economic hardships over the last few decades have affected resident’s well-being. But he says there can be improvement if people take initiative.

“It could be as simple as doing 30 minutes of exercise at home every day, to a full-instructed physical therapy-guided program in an office setting," he says, emphasizing the benefits of a proactive approach to health. "You don’t wait to change the oil in your car after the engine blows up. You have to be preventative with anything, including your body.”

Mangie says people who are proactive tend to be in more positive mental, emotional, and physical shape.

Anchorage, Alaska ranked at the top of the Gallup index for fitness: 62 percent of residents there work out. At the bottom was Lafayette, Louisiana, at roughly 43 percent.

Ohio overall ranked 46th in the quality of life index.

As for other cities across the Buckeye State, Dayton was just a few spots ahead of Youngstown, at 172nd place; Cincinatti was 142nd; Cleveland placed at 132nd; and Canton was at 107th. The highest ranking city was Columbus, which placed at 59th place for well-being. Its residents reported higher levels of exercise, positive work environment, emotional and physical health, and healthy behaviors.

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