A recently released Gallup-Healthways survey ranked the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan statistical region’s overall well-being 185th out of 189 communities surveyed.
Six areas of well-being comprised the survey’s well-being index, including life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and basic access to necessities (including health insurance). 656 people participated in the survey out of a population of 365,000.
Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright questioned the low rating and points to Hickory’s inspiring spaces initiative, which is designed to expand and improve the city’s parks, bikeways and walkways.
Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen also said he wouldn’t give the survey too much credit, citing local governments in Morganton, Hickory and Lenoir for the investments they’ve made to promote well-being in the community.
Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons said he understands the region’s challenges with health outcomes in the past, but says local governments and community members across the area have been working to provide ways residents can improve their health.
All three mayors mentioned a long list of activities and programs designed to increase residents’ health and well-being.