Good health is local.
“What the rankings tell us is where we live matters to our health,” Angela Russell with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute tells MetroNews of the results of the annual county health study from her group and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In the report that was released Wednesday, Monongalia, Pendleton, Doddridge, Jefferson and Hampshire counties, in that order, were listed as the healthiest counties in West Virginia.
The unhealthiest counties were McDowell, Wyoming, Mingo, Logan and Boone.
“It’s much easier to live a healthy lifestyle if you live in a healthy community,” Russell said.
Each year those with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute assess almost every county in the United States, including those in the Mountain State.
A total of 25 factors like obesity and smoking rates, family and social support, access to physicians and dentists, physical activity levels, childhood poverty and education are considered to determine overall health.
Russell says the snapshots offer communities pathways to better health. “Whether you’re at the bottom or the top, there are things that you can do to improve the health of your community,” she said.
“We can all work together to improve and foster and create cultures of health.”
You can see the complete county rankings at www.countyhealthrankings.org.