Iowa is now considered one of the healthiest states in the U.S. - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Iowa is now considered one of the healthiest states in the U.S.

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Iowa's Blue Zones initiative seems to be paying off.

The state is now among the top ten healthiest states in the country.

Iowa ranks 9th according to the "Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index". That's up seven spots from the year before, and up ten spots from 2010.

The WBI is compiled from a daily survey that measures six key aspects of Americans' well-being. It includes emotional health, physical health and even your work environment.

Sioux City was recently named a Blue Zones demonstration site, meaning it's now part of a public health initiative designed to help Iowans live longer, happier lives.

Some feel the news that Iowa has already moved up in the health rankings gives added motivation. "It is gonna give people a little bit more encouragement, feel 'hey we got this, we can really make some changes pretty easily and pretty quickly," said Derek Carmona, Sioux City Blue Zones Coordinator, "It's definitely inspirational, we see other communities doing it, like Spencer. If other communities can do it, we can definitely do it as well."

Spencer and Spirit Lake are also Blue Zones demonstration sites.

All are in the process of becoming a certified community, which means they need to get restaurants, schools, work sites, and grocery stores to help promote healthy living. The Bear restaurant in Spencer has already made changes to become a  designated blue zone restaurant. "The whole idea is to live and work and play in a healthy community. Not only do we want that for our community, but we are excited that state of Iowa is moving towards health," said Erin Pingel.

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