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Fort Worth’s well-being surges as U.S. score drops

Posted Sept. 20, 2018

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Well-being has reached a new high in Fort Worth, according to the annual Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.

Fort Worth’s overall 2018 Well-Being Index score rose to 62.5, a gain of nearly four points since 2014, when the city began working with Blue Zones Project, a community-led well-being improvement initiative. Meanwhile the U.S. Well-Being Index score — which outpaced the Fort Worth score by 3 points in 2014 — is 61.3, a decline of 0.5 over the same period.

Compared annually to close to 190 metro areas reported nationally, Fort Worth’s equivalent rank for well-being rose from 185th in 2014 to 58th in 2017. During that time, Blue Zones Project in Fort Worth has worked with city leaders, neighborhoods, employers, schools, restaurants, grocery stores and faith-based organizations to optimize the environment for well-being — making it easier for people to move naturally, eat better, develop healthy social circles and live with purpose, among other areas of focus.

Since 2014, Fort Worth has shown improvement in purpose, social, financial, community and physical well-being — the five core elements of well-being measured by the Gallup-Sharecare survey.

“Fort Worth’s latest jump in well-being, as the U.S. continues to decline, securely establishes it as a best-practice example of what a community can accomplish when it sustains a focused commitment to well-being,” said Dan Witters, principal at Gallup. “The work of Blue Zones Project in Fort Worth is playing an important role in the improving well-being culture and associated outcomes of the community.”

Ben Leedle, Blue Zones CEO and co-founder of Blue Zones Project, said: “Fort Worth and Mayor Betsy Price have taken the lead in Texas by understanding that improved well-being leads to a healthy and productive workforce and boosts economic development and job creation.”

Since 2014, Fort Worth has seen a 31 percent decrease in smoking following Blue Zones Project implementation, advocacy and policy work. Fort Worth’s smoking rate now stands at 13.5 percent. Other well-being improvements since 2014 include a nine-point increase in residents who exercise at least 30 minutes three or more days of the week, now at 62 percent; a 3.7-point increase in those who say Fort Worth is the perfect place for them, now more than 65 percent; and a 5.6-point increase in those who say they are proud of their community, now at more than 69 percent.

More than 58 percent of Fort Worth respondents are now categorized as “thriving” in their general evaluations of their lives, an increase of 7.3 points.

“Healthy cities are vibrant places where people want to live, work and play, and that describes Fort Worth now more than ever,” Price said. “Through our health and wellness efforts, including the important work that has taken place with Blue Zones Project, we’re making healthy choices easier — and that’s driving real, positive change.”

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