Well-Being Index for Muncie Area Residents?

Thanks to some savvy readers, Muncie Voice learned of a third index used for measuring how well our community is doing in health and wellness. Last week, top public and private sector leaders in Muncie gathered together to discuss community wellness, and how to get our citizens more active and healthy.

The motivation has come from recent reports that indicate Indiana and Delaware County rank low in studies performed by the Robert Woods Foundation and the University of Wisconsin, and United Healthcare Foundation. Their respective reports indicate that our community is suffering from poor health, poor health choices, and low fitness. Due to rising costs of healthcare, many employers are seeing this translate into higher premiums being absorbed by local employers, and regional healthcare institutions are treating more patients with less money, and these costs ultimately get passed along to employees, consumers, and taxpayers.

Muncie Voice tracked down the third leading index called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index which is a preeminent source for health and well-being data in the United States. Surveying 1,000 Americans a day, 350 days a year, the WBI is the first and most comprehensive survey of its kind, providing the largest database of behavioral economic metrics. It’s the only measure of total well-being in existence today.

What is the well-being of Muncie area residents?

The rankings for our Congressional District 6 are near the bottom within the country. More specifically, of the 436 congressional districts studied in 2010 across the United States, our corresponding rank for each wellness component studied is as follows:

Congressional District 6
Life Evaluation 393
Emotional Health 388
Physical Health 366
Healthy Behavior 416
Work Environment 350
Basic Access 293

As indicated, we are not doing very well – we currently rank in the 4th quintile of all 50 states.

While we are listening to politicians discuss improving quality of living options, and attracting employers to our region, the health of our community will become one of the major reasons an employer will come here, or locate elsewhere. The costs of poor health is quickly being translated in to dollars, and that will not bode well for our community.

Before you can make changes, you have to understand your existing situation, and we hope that Muncie Voice is assisting in communicating the importance of our health and well-being. We are currently at unacceptable levels, so in order to improve, we must take steps now that will result in improving these rankings.

For more about the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, visit their website at

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.
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