The good and bad of health in Seattle. We take care of ourselves, but can’t afford to see a doctor

Apr 1, 2024, 3:02 PM | Updated: 4:22 pm


Seattle scores big points for being physically active. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Seattle is one of the healthiest large cities in the U.S., according to WalletHub, a personal finance website.

“Seattle ranked third, overall, out of 182 cities,” analyst Cassandra Happe told KIRO Newsradio.

San Francisco ranked first on the list. Honolulu was second. Head here to see the entire survey of cities.

Happe says WalletHub looked at 41 different metrics, focusing on the cost and accessibility in four key areas. Seattle ranked high in three areas: nutritious food, fitness, and available green space.

For instance, Seattlelites are the 3rd most likely to be physically active.

“That’s a really good sign that residents in Seattle are taking advantage of the great green spaces there to get out and get active,” Happe said.

The WalletHub analysis found there are plenty of places to be active. Seattle ranked 26th for number of hiking trails, per capita.

Seattle also scored high on the availability of nutritious food. The city ranked 13th for access to health restaurants per capita and residents are 11th most likely to eat their fruits and vegetables.

But Happe said Seattle ranks relatively low when it comes to accessibility of health care- not whether we can FIND it, but AFFORD it.

“The cost of dental visits and doctor’s office visits rank 175th and 177th, respectively,” Happe said.

That’s near the bottom for office visits that are generally meant to keep you healthy.

The increasing cost of health care prompted WalletHub to do its analysis.

Happe said a person’s overall health increasingly plays a role in their finances.

“Healthcare costs continue to rise.” She says preventing major, costly health problems is becoming more important. “Living a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to reducing those health care costs.”

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of her stories here. Follow Heather on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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The good and bad of health in Seattle. We take care of ourselves, but can’t afford to see a doctor