Self Magazine, October, 2002

“SELF” conducted the survey by consulting epidemiologists, physicians and experts from the CDC, NIH, FBI and EPA, along with other experts in women’s health and fitness to help rank the factors that most contribute to a healthy lifestyle. With a list of 31 final criteria, including air quality, motor vehicle deaths, sexual health, access to medical care, the number of health clubs — even days of sunshine per year — they turned to demographic consultant Bert Sperling’s Best Places in Portland, Oregon, to help gather the data and crunch the numbers.
Here are some of the results:
10. Honolulu, Hawaii
9. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.
8. Bergen-Passaic counties, N.J.
7. Ventura, Calif.
6. San Francisco, Calif.
5. Nassau-Suffolk counties, N.Y.
4. Burlington, Vt.
3. Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon counties, N.J.
2. Provo-Orem, Utah
1. Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

10. Gary, Ind.
9. Galveston-Texas City, Texas
8. St. Louis, Mo.
7. Ocala, Fla.
6. South Bend, Ind.
5. Biloxi-Gulfort-Pascagoula, Miss.
4. Flint, Mich.
3. Lafayette, La.
2. Indianapolis, Ind.
1. Memphis, Tenn.
Perennially in the top 10 on “SELF’s” list, this commuter community 40 miles north of New York City hit number one this year, finishing in the top spot in four crucial categories.

The area has one of the country’s lowest unemployment rates and ranks tops for the number of health clubs, with 49 gyms per 100,000 people — more than three times the survey’s average. But there’s more to healthy living here than easy access to a treadmill.

“We’re so close to New York City, yet it has the feel of pure countryside,” says Stamford resident Aideen Mannion, 34. “There’s tremendous hiking nearby, and the waterfront. And I love that you can walk to everything.”

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