Straight TalkA weekly update from management on the issues that matter most. Oct 26, 2017 An investment in community well-being is paying off in Southwest Florida, as the latest Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index® report shows a community-wide gain in overall well-being and an increase in residents who describe themselves as thriving in five key areas of well-being. The annual study was conducted earlier this year as part of the community’s efforts surrounding Blue Zones Project®, a community-led well-being improvement initiative that focuses on changing the environment around us to make healthy choices easier. The Well-Being Index is a scientific survey instrument that measures, tracks, and reports on the well-being of individuals and organizations nationwide. For the last two years, the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has ranked number one in the nation for well-being. The local oversample survey, conducted during a seven-week period beginning May 12, 2017, two years after Blue Zones Project officially launched in Southwest Florida, showed similarly impressive results. Southwest Florida’s overall Well-Being Index score edged up 0.6 points, from 68.6 in 2015 to 69.2 in 2017. The community saw a 10 percent drop in daily stress with a smoking rate of just over 9 percent, well below national averages. When looking at exercise and healthy eating, the community saw a 4.3 percent increase in those who exercise at least 30 minutes three days per week and a 4.7 percent increase in those who eat 5 or more servings of produce 4 or more days a week. Southwest Florida also experienced an 8 percent increase in the number of residents who learn or do something interesting daily and saw a 7.5 percent increase in those who indicate their friends and family give them positive energy every day. We are encouraged by our Well-Being Index results, which show movement toward increased well-being among residents across the community, said Deb Logan, Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida Executive Director. We know there is more work to be done, and thanks to a strong network of community partners working toward the same goal, we believe we will continue to make strides in our efforts to improve the health of this community. In addition to the community impact metrics, the Well-Being Index also measures the percentage of the population that is thriving in the five key elements of well-being—purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. According to the Well-Being Index, Southwest Florida residents report an increase in thriving across four of the five well-being elements, with the highest gains in social, financial and purpose well-being. The Well-Being Index report is based on surveys from area residents from across Collier County and Bonita Springs and Estero. Surveys were completed in both English and Spanish. As a health system caring for the people of Southwest Florida, we are actively improving well-being, not only by managing illness and injury, but also by identifying ways in which we can create a healthier and more active community for all our residents. We are bringing together schools, grocery stores, restaurants, employers, civic organizations and other groups in a true cross-community collaboration. As of now, 15,000 early adopters (and counting) have joined us in this grassroots transformation—momentum that underscores our residents’ commitment to living their healthiest lives. Together we are helping everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.