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New report shows Miami is the healthiest city in America... but which is the least healthy?

New report shows Miami is the healthiest city in America... but which is the least healthy?
(Image credit: Polar)

There are countless factors which contribute to health, and apparently where you live is one of them. This is according to wellness app Mindbody, which has published a new report on the healthiest cities in the U.S. The wellness index, which surveyed 20,000 Americans in the nation's 50 biggest cities, looked at factors such as frequency of physical activity, BMI, alcohol consumption, connection to community, healthy eating and even spiritual wellness, emphasizing that health is about much more than just fitness. 

The results found that Miami, Florida is America's healthiest city, with 80% of residents using the best treadmills or best home gyms to work out at least once a week. Miamians also know how to integrate wellness into their routines, with 69% opting for integrative health services, like massages and chiropractic care, at least once a year.

How does your city rank? 

Despite only coming in at 27th for health, Los Angeles is the most active and hydrated city, and its residents have on average the healthiest diets. They're also a social bunch, with 74% saying they find time for fun and play. So what gives Miami the edge over America's second most populous city? Well, Mindbody suggests that Miami residents know how to prioritize their mental wellness. 63% enjoy their work and day-to-day activities and 61% are spiritually fulfilled, making Miami the most content and fulfilled city surveyed. 

America's healthiest cities, according to Mindbody

America's healthiest cities, according to Mindbody (Image credit: Mindbody)

We recently revealed that financial stress could be stopping you sleeping, which in turn has knock-on effects for your health and wellbeing. However, with 62% of Miami residents getting a full night’s sleep (making them the most well-rested city in America), it would seem that they're not the most financially troubled. Either that, or they're using the the best mattresses to compensate. 

By contrast, Oklahoma City is the most sleep-deprived city surveyed, which no-doubt contributed to their last-place ranking as the least healthy city in the U.S. With the highest proportion of smokers, Detroit, Michigan ranks second-last.

Wellness: What's getting in the way?

We'd all ideally like to be living healthy, balanced lives, but Mindbody has found that the greatest limit on this is financial constraints, with 43% ranking this as their largest obstacle to health. This is a bigger problem for women than men, with 46% of women versus 37% of men struggling with financial limits. 

Over a third of Americans also said they don't have enough free time to prioritize their wellness - they might have enough money to afford the best fitness trackers, but not the time to meet their daily step target or get a good night's sleep. Time and money constraints can often lead to the inability to buy and prepare healthy meals, with 16% saying that limited access to healthy food is an obstacle in their wellness. With recent news that an insurance company gives seniors free fruit and veg to combat diet-related illness, we may soon be seeing a rise in preventative healthcare which tackles this stumbling block.