“I love it,” Hood said while walking along South Lake Avenue. “People are walking all the time. I walk all the time. I think it’s well-deserved.”
The region took the top notch in the Gallup-Healthways Physical Health Index out of 189 metropolitan statistical areas.
Hood said the miles of bike paths in Northwest Ottawa County roll out a sort of “health welcome mat.”
“There are new places to explore all the time,” she said. “It’s the perfect place.”
Gallup surveyed thousands of Americans in 2012 and 2013, recording their physical and emotional health, as well as measuring job satisfaction and access to basic needs, for a comprehensive Well-Being Index. The Grand Haven/Holland area ranked 44th lowest in obesity (23.4 percent), 17th lowest in blood pressure issues (23.9 percent) and 37th lowest in poverty rate (11.3 percent.).
Joy Gaasch, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, said it’s a wonderful honor — especially since it follows the Wall Street Journal’s recent “healthiest in the nation” ranking.
“We’ve been named healthiest, happiest and safest,” she said. “We get an awful lot of recognition as a result of data collection that takes place in our community. We really need to celebrate these recognitions because they really make a difference when people are considering moving to our community.”
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