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Columbus ranked amongst lowest quality of life

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - The latest Gallup Well-Being Index is out and it's raising some eyebrows in Columbus. A Yahoo! article listed the city as the 7th most miserable in the United States. News 3's Naomi Keitt spoke to several people around the area Thursday afternoon and most people we spoke with did not understand how Columbus could be considered one of the most miserable. We did some digging into the report and found that it's a well-being index focusing on health in the community rather than happiness. 

"I'll be honest. I don't ever think of that word when it comes to Columbus," said Doug McLeod. 

McLeod has lived in Columbus all his life and was shocked when he learned Columbus was listed as the 7th most miserable city. 

"I just love the city and I'm just proud to be a citizen of Columbus, Georgia. 

But taking a closer look at the Gallup-Healthways index, it's not abe being miserable. It's about being healthy. Researchers looked at a variety of subjects like emotional health, physical health and healthy behaviors. Dr. Michael Walsh who works at the Family Practice Center gave the article and report a closer look. 

"If you don't do well on this and you're not healthy then you must be miserable which I don't think is really the case," said Dr. Walsh. 

The poll surveyed 475 people in Columbus and 24% of them say a nurse or physician told them they suffered from depression. Dr. Walsh says physical activity can have a direct link to how you're feeling, as endorphins are released into your body. He says it has other benefits as well. 

"The benefits go from an increase in cardiovascular fitness which decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke and when you're more cardiovascularly fit you're able to do more and do it with less effort," said Dr. Walsh. 

For Doug McLeod, his daily routine is walking. He says staying active is part of the reason he loves this city. 

"It's good for my health and it lets you see other areas of town that you might not normally see," said McLeod. 

The designation "most miserable" was given by an article on
Yahoo!'s website. The word miserable is not actually in the report.

You can download a pdf copy of the entire report here.





Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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