Fayette County

Not feeling so hot? Lexington doesn’t fare well in national well-being ranking.

Maybe folks in Lexington could use a little more love and physical activity.

The city ranked in the bottom half nationally of a survey on measures of well-being released Tuesday, in part because residents reported a relative lack of supportive relationships and love, along with not being in good health and having enough energy to get things done.

Lexington’s rank was 129 out of 186 metropolitan areas surveyed nationwide in 2016 and 2017, according to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.

Louisville ranked 105 in the survey.

Lexington finished in the middle of the pack of Southeastern Conference cities. The University of Kentucky Wildcats won the SEC tournament, but their home city finished behind Knoxville and Gainesville, Fla, in the well-being index.

Lexington topped Baton Rouge, La., and Columbia, S.C., however.

The results were based on 337,690 telephone surveys with U.S. adults from January 2016 and Dec. 30, 2017, according to the report.

The poll, which has a margin of error of up to 1.7 percentage points, measures how people feel in these areas:

▪ Purpose, meaning liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve goals;

▪ Social, defined as having supportive relationships and love in your life;

▪ Financial, which is managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security;

▪ Community, defined as liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in the community;

▪ Physical, which is having good health and enough energy to get things done daily.

Lexington residents felt best about their community, giving the city a rank of 60 out of the 186 places surveyed.

But its rank was 123 on the measure of purpose; 139 on social; and 179 on physical.

The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla., area had the highest overall well-being score in 2016-17, for the third survey in a row, followed by Barnstable Town, Mass.; Boulder, Col.; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Cal.; and Charlottesville, Va., according to the report.

Fort Smith, Ark., where the metro area includes part of Oklahoma, finished last.

Kentucky as a state has never ranked well in the survey, finishing at No. 49 in 2015 and 2016, ahead of only West Virginia.

Among other factors, high rates of smoking, obesity and chronic diseases push down Kentucky’s rank. Counties in Eastern Kentucky in particular have high rates of heart disease, cancer and other health problems.

But in the 2017 state rankings, based on phone surveys last year, Kentucky moved up to 45th, followed by Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and West Virginia, which was last for the ninth year in a row, the report said.

The survey said 2017 was a “challenging year” for Americans’ well-being.

The national score dropped from the previous survey, and there were declines in 21 states, the largest from year to year in the decade Gallup has been doing the rankings.

Hawaii is America's healthiest state, Californians keep their smoking to a minimum and Kansas saw the largest increase in obesity in the 2016 America's Health Rankings Report from The United Health Foundation.

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