Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Jersey breaks into top ten healthiest states

Some congratulations are in order for New Jersey residents, whose healthy habits helped the state crack the top ten of UnitedHealth Foundation’s 2016 America’s Health Rankings. This year, New Jersey became the ninth healthiest state in the country, up two slots from last year.

The state currently boasts the third lowest percentage of smokers in the nation, while the percentage of adults who are obese dropped to 25.6 percent. New Jersey residents can also be proud that their state has the second lowest infant mortality rate and fourth lowest rate of infectious disease.

Although many people in the state are leading healthier lifestyles, some troubling trends continue to plague New Jersey.  For example, while New Jersey has relatively low levels of obesity; physical inactivity levels have risen, with 25.2 percent of adults reporting no physical activity in the past 30 days.

UnitedHealthcare is committed to helping New Jersey stay in the top 10 by providing a range of useful, preventative programs to residents. From special disease management initiatives that help people with congestive heart failure adopt healthier habits, to technology like the Health4Me app, which enables users to track their physical activity and locate nearby doctors, UnitedHealthcare encourages everyone to practice healthier habits.

Did you know that you could get paid for going to yoga? Our newest program in New Jersey gives residents a financial incentive to lead more active lifestyles by participating in popular fitness classes. The Oxford Sweat Equity program allows enrollees in UnitedHealthcare’s Oxford employer-sponsored health plans to earn up to $400 per year by participating in Sweat Equity-eligible exercise programs including Zumba, kick-boxing, yoga, swimming, tennis, racquetball and biking. MyCentralJersey.com recently featured a story on the program, which you can read here.

Currently in its 27th year, America’s Health Rankings analyzes health data from each individual state, to identify key health metrics and develop state rankings, which keep Americans informed on areas they can improve upon. The data in the America’s Health Rankings report is gathered from sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association and the U.S. Department of Education and Census Bureau.

In addition to clinical factors, the report also looks at the many non-medical determinants of health that small and large business owners may find useful when looking for ways to implement or improve their wellness program.

For more information about the rankings, visit: http://www.americashealthrankings.org.