Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson said the ranking is a reflection of the effort the city has put forth toward keep citizens informed about health.
“(Fort Collins has) a wellness program that is well-organized,” Hutchinson said.
The Wellness Program provides city employees and their families with wellness programming to help motivate them toward healthy lifestyle choices and ultimately healthier, more productive lives.
The Well-Being Index measures the health of adults in metropolitan areas based on six criteria: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities.
The overall score of the Fort Collins and Loveland areas was 72.1, third behind Boulder and Lincoln, Neb., as the top metro areas with the highest well-being.
Hutchinson said he feels the culture of Fort Collins also plays a vital role in the overall health of the population. With the number of outdoor activities offered in the area, Hutchinson said residents have an abundance of opportunities to stay fit, including taking alternate modes of transportation to work.
“You can look at factors such as several individuals (in Fort Collins) are riding bikes,” Hutchinson said. “A number of people commute to work on bike. I think that’s a reflection of the culture of Fort Collins.”
Susan Whitley, who operates the Reiki Center of the Rockies and the Lady Gaia store in Fort Collins, said local residents are also willing to try a wide variety of medicinal and healing methods.
“Fort Collins is very open to holistic or different options for healing,” Whitley said.
Reiki is a Japanese spiritual practice that uses a technique called palm healing to transfer healing energy from the Reiki master to a person who might be suffering from a range of physical, mental or emotional stress.
Hutchinson said Fort Collins and the state of Colorado in general pull in many out-of-state residents simply for its outdoor recreation.
Hutchinson said several local business owners have told him they moved here and have stayed here for several decades because of the emphasis on healthy lifestyles.
“It’s amazing the number of times CEOs have said, ‘(It’s the) bike paths (that keep them here),” Hutchinson said.
And, Whitley said she has found many older citizens come to and stay in Fort Collins because of the healthy lifestyle that is promoted. Whitley said after many people have retired, they often want and need to find ways to maintain good health.
Results of the poll are based on telephone interviews conducted from Jan. 2, 2010, to Dec. 29, 2010, with a random sample of 245,817 adults older than the age of 18 who live in reportable metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.