Monday, 28 July, 2008 1:45 PM
Ann Arbor Takes
Top Honor as #1 Healthy City to Live and Retire in
Magazine Names Healthiest Places to Live in U.S.
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
Arbor is home to the main campus of the University of Michigan.
ARBOR, Mich. – AARP The Magazine today announced
the top 10 healthiest cities to live and retire in with Ann Arbor,
Mich., taking the #1 spot. The remaining top four rankings went
to Honolulu, HI; Madison, WI; Santa Fe, NM; and Fargo, ND.
are thrilled to receive this recognition from AARP because it affirms
the city’s efforts toward green, clean, and active living,”
said Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje. “With 162 parks and a variety
of recreation opportunities, our residents would agree that Ann
Arbor is the #1 place in America to live.”
Magazine evaluated more than 20 measures of vitality to help make
its decisions and incorporated not only the physical aspects of
a community (clean air and water), but also the health and habits
of people who live there, taking into special consideration the
health needs of people age 50+.
were chosen based on various criteria including opportunities for
exercise, number of doctors in the area, availability of healthcare,
diagnosis of health problems, healthy eating habits, and more. The
magazine also evaluated quality of life measures such as housing
affordability, the local economy, educational resources, crime,
climate, recreational amenities, and arts and culture to help make
cities we chose are ahead of the healthy living curve with access
to healthcare facilities, numerous options for exercise, activities,
volunteerism, and a culture that supports vitality,” said
Nancy Graham, Acting Editor of AARP The Magazine. “This has
become one of AARP The Magazine’s most popular annual features
and it’s exciting to be the authority on the top cities for
retirement at a time when more Americans than ever are approaching
– where 86 percent of the residents get regular exercise and
there are 580 physicians per 100,000 people, compared with the U.S.
average of 223 – was chosen for many different reasons, but
chief among them the fact that the city is a center of medical innovation.
The University of Michigan Health Center is one of the largest university
medical centers in the world, and it created the first human genetics
program in the United States in 1940.
of innovation spills over into Ann Arbor’s economy. Google
recently opened a satellite office in Ann Arbor and the company
said it chose the city partly because of the talent pool the university
provides but also because Ann Arbor is such a great community to
is a strong link between the health and vibrancy of a community
and the health of its economy,” Michigan Economic Development
Corporation President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “With
a long-standing focus on attracting new businesses and maintaining
a high quality of life, Ann Arbor’s top ranking is well deserved.”
Bob and Carol Mull, the Ann Arbor couple featured in the magazine’s
article, moved to Ann Arbor in 1977.
retired nearly two years ago, they decided to stay in Ann Arbor.
The couple enjoys biking in some of Ann Arbor’s 162 city parks
and walking through the 123-acre Nichols Arboretum, which boasts
a mile of frontage along the Huron River. The couple is also very
engaged in the community. Bob is an active member of the Rotary
and spends Friday morning tutoring fifth graders. Carol, a part-time
curator, is writing a book about the region’s Underground
included: Cardiac mortality rates (age-adjusted), prescriptions
for control of hypertension, cholesterol (per capita), physician
diagnoses of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity (BMI),
smoking cigarettes, alcohol use, access to affordable healthcare,
physicians and cardiologists in area (per capita), fast food outlets
(per capita), state legislation for smoke-free workplaces and public
places, percent having a health plan, percent unable to afford health
care, percent of residents who had a recent routine checkup, healthy
eating (salads, fruits, vegetable servings per day), regular exercise,
commuting by bicycle or walking, stress index (indicators include
depression, divorce, suicide, crime, unemployment, etc.), teaching
hospitals (per capita), hospital beds available (per capita), and
hospitals with emergency rooms. Sources included CDC WONDER Compressed
Mortality File (2000-2004), Medical Marketing Services, CDC Behavioral
Risk Factor Surveillance System survey (2004-2006), AMA membership
rolls (2007), Info USA, database of establishments (2007), Americans
for Nonsmokers Rights – compilation (2007), U.S. Census, Claritas,
Inc., Sperling’s BestPlaces analysis, American Hospital Directory
information about this year’s selections can be found in the
September/October issue of AARP The Magazine or online at www.aarpmagazine.org.
City of Ann Arbor