The terms “wellness” and “self-care” have become everyday catchphrases in the United States, for good reason, said Michael A. Smith, MD, of nutritional science analyst and supplement maker Life Extension.
“Coming off the heels of the pandemic which permeated 2020 and 2021, this increased interest in wellness couldn’t come at a better time: We are still in the throes of a difficult time in history, after all, and the stress is real,” Smith said in the report “Best and Worst States for Health & Wellness in 2022.”
The study analyzed 11 metrics across three main categories:
- Physical and mental health, measured by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Queries dealt with physical health, mental health, amount of sleep, and exercise.
- Access to parks and nature, measured by data from the U.S. National Park Service and U.S. Census Bureau
- Integrative health practices, with Google Trends data for six keyword searches from June 2022. The terms were meditation, yoga, mindfulness, healthy diet, vitamins, and supplements.
Each state and the District of Columbia received a point per category, compared to the national average in each category. The higher the score, the higher the ranking, according to the study.
“As we persevere during these times and look to emerge stronger, wellness will only play a larger role in people’s lives,” Smith said in the study. “With more people working remotely and having the option to live anywhere on the map they choose, access to wellness services and activities may influence where people decide to hang their hats.”
States with the same score have the same rank.
Here are the bottom 11.