-- Gov. Terry E. Branstad today issued the following statement upon learning Iowa had moved into the top 10 in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®. Iowa increased 0.7 points to 68.1 in overall well-being in 2012, moving from No. 16 to No. 9 in the state rankings.
"I am excited about the progress we have made in making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation," said Gov. Branstad. "This ranking proves our efforts are working. We jumped seven spots in an effort we began less than two years ago. I want to commend all Iowans who are working on this important effort, and I want to encourage the people of this state to continue their great progress."
The following information was released by Wellmark, Inc., earlier today:
About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®
Gallup and Healthways conducted more than 353,000 surveys between January and December 2011. The WBI, which has been polling 1,000 Americans per day, 350 days a year, evaluates six key areas of well-being in an effort to better understand the overall state of well-being in the U.S. Approximately 1.5 million surveys have been collected since polling began in January 2008, making the WBI the largest database of behavioral economics and information concerning holistic well-being in existence. The WBI is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where a score of 100 represents ideal well-being.
The core questions that make up the WBI survey were scientifically designed by some of the world's leading experts in economics, psychology and health to thoroughly measure how respondents are faring in all aspects of their lives: physically, emotionally, socially and professionally, as well as to take a daily pulse of how Americans rate the overall quality of their current life and outlook for the future.
The data resulting from the WBI can be used to identify where communities are doing well and where communities are struggling to target policies and invest in initiatives to optimize well-being, improving the lives of people in America and reducing health care costs.
Wellmark, Inc. (www.wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant's health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 40 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.healthways.com.
About Blue Zones
Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better. The Company's work is rooted in the New York Times best-selling books The Blue Zones and Thrive--both published by National Geographic books. In 2009, Blue Zones applied the tenets of the books to Albert Lea, Minn. and successfully raised life expectancy and lowered health care costs for city workers by 40 percent. Blue Zones takes a systematic, environmental approach to well-being which focuses on optimizing policy, building design, social networks, and the built environment. The Blue Zones Project is based on this innovative approach. For more information, visit www.bluezones.com.
About Iowa Healthiest State Initiative
The Iowa Healthiest State Initiative is the nation's first statewide comprehensive well-being improvement program. This business-led, government-endorsed effort is expected to help Iowans live longer, healthier and more productive lives, while also enabling the state to redirect billions of dollars currently spent on health care to efforts that will further grow the state's economy. The Healthiest State Initiative is designed to help Iowa become the number one ranked state for well-being within five years as measured by the WBI.