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      Minnesota Grabs Top Rank for Healthiest Place to Live

      Posted on June 07, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      A biker utilizes one of the Twin Cities' many bike paths.

      Minnesota ranked number one for senior health and the Twin Cities ranked top for fit metro areas. Photo Credit: Flickr user, Michael Hicks

      Minnesotans have yet another thing to be proud of--their good health.  Reports released last week named Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation for seniors, and Minneapolis-St. Paul the fittest metro area in the United States. 

      The report, released by the United Health Foundation, ranks Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation for seniors.  This ranking recognizes Minnesota’s longstanding commitment to health care services and long-term care for the state’s older citizens.  Minnesota topped the list based on a variety of factors which lead to good health including prescription drug coverage, availability of home health care workers, and rate of annual dental visits.  Minnesota also scored well with a high percentage of seniors reporting very good or excellent health, a low rate of premature death, and a low rate of hospitalizations for hip fractures. 

      The American College of Sports Medicine’s annual American Fitness Index ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul the fittest metro area in the country for the third time in a row.  The ranking takes into account health factors including smoking, exercise, obesity rates, chronic health issues, and access to healthcare.  It also considers environmental factors such as parks, trails, recreational facilities and farmers’ markets.  The cities’ large per-capita investment in parks and high rate of physical activity were also factors in the first place ranking. 

      While these reports provide good news for the state, they also show that Minnesota still has room for improvement in the area of health.  The United Health Foundation found that Minnesota has a low rate of seniors with a dedicated health care provider and low community support expenditures for low income seniors.  The American College of Sports Medicine found that many Minneapolis-St. Paul residents should increase their fruit intake, to ensure that they are getting the five recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.  More Twin Cities residents also need to quit smoking, according to the American College of Sports Medicine's findings.  

      These rankings are a promising illustration of Minnesota’s commitment to good health and fitness.  With poor health at an all-time high nationwide, Minnesota is making strides in the right direction. 

      View the United Health Foundation report here.

      View the American College of Sports Medicine's American Fitness Index here.