The Atlantic

Cold, Dark, and Happy

Years of state rankings have begun to paint a picture of an idyllic healthiest place to live.
Source: Sean Lema/Shutterstock

"Alaskans are the best in the nation in terms of exercise," explained Dan Witters, a research director at the polling agency Gallup, in making the case that Alaska is the nation's new bastion of well-being. "Which just goes to show you that you don't need year-round good weather to demonstrate good exercise habits."

Even if I remain unconvinced on that front, the fact that people manage to exercise more in Alaska than people in any other state—somehow—is just one of the many metrics that landed the state the number-one spot in a massive study of health and well-being across America, released this week.

Alaskans also reported the lowest stress levels of any population in the country over the past year, and the state had the lowest rate of

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