Ranked No. 1 in well-being

In what should come as no surprise, for the fifth year in a row a national survey has found that Hawaii residents have the highest sense of well-being of any place in the country.

The annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released Wednesday showed that almost 60 percent of Hawaii residents believe their lives are “thriving.”

The national average was 53 percent.

The index is based on phone surveys conducted by Gallup where respondents are questioned about life evaluation, physical health, emotional health, healthy behavior, work environment and basic access to health care and food.

According to the index, the “Elite 5” – Hawaii, Utah, Minnesota, Colorado and Montana – are states that have consistently ranked high since the surveys began in 2008. They have six things in common:

* They rate their lives much better, today and in the future.

* They have better emotional health, including much lower clinically diagnosed depression and daily sadness.

* They have much lower obesity rates.

* They carry substantially reduced disease burden, including lifetime high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart attack incidences and chronic physical pain.

* They enjoy their jobs more.

* They smoke a lot less, but exercise much more.

The sponsors of the survey – Gallup and Healthways – say some communities are using the results as a “prescription” for improving lives in their areas. In other words, they are trying to copy Hawaii.

While it is flattering to know that others are trying to emulate us, it is even more satisfying that national surveys bear out what most of us already felt:

There’s no place like home – especially if that home is Hawaii.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.