The Best and Worst States for Health in the U.S.: Life Extension Ranking Based on 11 Health Metrics

California, Arizona and Florida rank high as the best states for wellness.

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Maintaining physical and mental well-being has become a priority for Americans—and the numbers reflect it. The wellness industry is projected to reach $7 trillion by 2025, according to the Wellness Global Institute. That’s a 75% increase from its current $4 trillion in value. But not all states are created equal when it comes to opportunities to live your healthiest life—and with the opportunity to “work from anywhere” in today’s increasingly remote world, knowing which locations best prioritize wellness is key. To help determine where Americans may find the best conditions to cultivate a healthy life, Life Extension published a report ranking the best and worst states for wellness in 2022.

To determine the best states for overall wellness, Life Extension analyzed 11 metrics across three main categories: physical and mental health status (based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data); access to natural parks (according to National Park Service information); and interest in integrative health practices (based on Google searches by state).

Leading the 10 best places for wellness were sunny California, Arizona and Florida, attesting to the importance of sunshine in whole-body health; Washington, Hawaii, Utah, Alaska, Wyoming, D.C. and New Jersey completed the list.

And the 10 worst states for wellness were Alabama, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Delaware, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kentucky and Mississippi.

The report showed a strong connection between the percentage of land in each state devoted to national parks and having a higher score in the wellness index. This correlation underlines how essential nature and outdoor activities like hiking, biking and running are to overall health.

Finally, the report also showed where in the U.S. there is the greatest interest in integrative health practices—because proactive research indicates a personal motivation to stay healthy. Life Extension used Google Trends data on searches for six key wellness search terms over the past year: meditation, yoga, mindfulness, healthy diet, vitamins and supplements. The findings in this category were factored into the overall best and worst states for wellness rankings.

“Health is multidimensional,” explained Dr. Michael A. Smith, MD, Life Extension’s Director of Education. “Factors such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep are the cornerstones for well-rounded health. Indeed, where you live can significantly impact how easy or hard it is for someone to maintain daily habits that support healthy living.”

Dr. Smith added that while it is certainly possible to live healthfully anywhere in the U.S., “Choosing a wellness-focused state with access to nature and wellness programs that have state-level support makes achieving those goals a lot easier,” he explained.

Read the full report for more information on study methods and complete findings.

About Life Extension®

For 40 years, Life Extension has pursued innovative advances in health, conducting rigorous clinical trials and setting some of the most demanding standards in the industry to offer a full range of quality vitamins and nutritional supplements and blood-testing services. Life Extension’s Wellness Specialists provide personalized counsel to help customers choose the right products for optimal health, nutrition and personal care.