See If Your Hometown Made the List of America’s Top 20 Healthiest (or Unhealthiest) Cities

The iconic "Painted Ladies" in San Francisco, America's healthiest city.
The iconic "Painted Ladies" in San Francisco, America's healthiest city.
bluejayphoto/iStock via Getty Images

Hitting the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables per day is a lot easier if you live in a city with a produce stand on practically every corner. That said, when it comes to deciding how healthy a city is overall, access to fresh fruit is far from the only factor.

Credit report agency WalletHub compiled data from more than 170 of the most populated U.S. cities, and used a whopping 43 metrics across four categories—healthcare, food, fitness, and green space—to analyze which ones are winning (and losing) the health game.

To say the study is extensive seems like an understatement; the healthcare category, for instance, includes stats like “hospital beds per capita” and “share of adults who checked their cholesterol in the past five years.” The food category covers everything from farmers' markets per capita to a measurement of Google searches for terms related to healthy eating. Cities received a ranking number in each category and were awarded a cumulative score out of 100.

All 43 things considered, San Francisco is basically a beacon of healthy living that the rest of America should look to for guidance. It ranked first in both food and green space, fourth in fitness, and a still-respectable 29th in healthcare. Seattle, its neighbor to the north, came in second place, and the top four were rounded out by San Diego and Portland, Oregon, strongly suggesting that we should all consider moving to the nation’s northwest corner.

Source: WalletHub

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Brownsville, a city at the southern tip of Texas that hugs the Mexican border and ranks 174th in food and healthcare and 173rd in fitness and green space. It’s not the only Texas representative hanging out near the end of the list: The barbecue-loving Lone Star State has four other cities—Laredo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, and Amarillo—in the bottom 20. In fact, almost all the bottom 20 cities are located in southern states.

Scroll on to see if your hometown is healthy enough to have cracked the top 20 (or unhealthy enough to be near the bottom), and check out the full list of 174 cities here.

Healthiest U.S. Cities

  1. San Francisco, California
  1. Seattle, Washington
  1. San Diego, California
  1. Portland, Oregon
  1. Washington, D.C.
  1. New York, New York
  1. Denver, Colorado
  1. Irvine, California
  1. Scottsdale, Arizona
  1. Chicago, Illinois
  1. Austin, Texas
  1. Los Angeles, California
  1. Honolulu, Hawaii
  1. Huntington Beach, California
  1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
  1. Burlington, Vermont
  1. Fremont, California
  1. Boston, Massachusetts
  1. San Jose, California

Unhealthiest U.S. Cities

  1. Brownsville, Texas
  1. Laredo, Texas
  1. Gulfport, Mississippi
  1. Shreveport, Louisiana
  1. Memphis, Tennessee
  1. Montgomery, Alabama
  1. Huntington, West Virginia
  1. Augusta, Georgia
  1. Fort Smith, Arkansas
  1. Detroit, Michigan
  1. Mobile, Alabama
  1. Corpus Christi, Texas
  1. Toledo, Ohio
  1. North Las Vegas, Nevada
  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  1. Jackson, Mississippi
  1. Columbus, Georgia
  1. Lubbock, Texas
  1. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  1. Amarillo, Texas

[h/t WalletHub]

7 Quick Tips for Disinfecting Your Home the Smart Way

Frequent cleaning of high-traffic areas can reduce the spread of illness in your home.
Frequent cleaning of high-traffic areas can reduce the spread of illness in your home.
BrianAJackson/iStock via Getty Images

With many people spending more time—or virtually all of their time—indoors, it’s natural for thoughts to turn to how to best clean surfaces that might help minimize the risk of spreading illness. Although researchers believe respiratory droplets are the primary way coronavirus is transmitted, preliminary data, which is not yet peer-reviewed, suggests the virus may remain on some surfaces for hours or days.

While scrubbing isn't a complex process, there are nonetheless some areas of your home you might be neglecting. Here’s how to best approach a household scrub, as well as identify and disinfect some common germ hot spots.

1. Pay attention to high-touch surfaces and clean them frequently.

High-touch surfaces are exactly what they sound like: Areas in the home that get handled and touched regularly. Think doorknobs, light switches, appliance handles, toilet handles, faucets, and remotes. And don’t forget laptops, keyboards, desks, and phones.

2. Don't just do a quick wipe down. Get the entire surface.

Taking a disinfecting wipe to the keyhole of a doorknob isn’t going to do you much good—it's important to really scrub all high-touch surfaces. Make sure you get every available surface area, including the plate behind the knob where fingers and hands often brush against it. When cleaning remotes, make sure you don't just scrub the buttons, but the space between them as well.

3. You can use soap and water.

While products claiming to kill 99.9 percent of germs are best in this scenario, there's another option if you're having a hard time tracking down those supplies—simply mix some dish soap in water. It won’t kill organisms, but it can remove them from the surface. (And while soap and water can work for high-touch surfaces throughout the home, you shouldn't use the solution on electronics like your remote or keyboard.)

If you’re looking to kill germs, diluted bleach (four teaspoons to one quart of water) and 70 percent alcohol solutions work well. But it's important to note that bleach and other cleaners can harm certain surfaces. So be sure to do your research and make sure the product you're using won't cause any damage before you start scrubbing.

4. Take laundry precautions.

If you’re trying to be extra-vigilant about the spread of germs in the house, you should consider washing clothes at the highest possible temperature and disinfecting laundry bins. It’s also advisable to use disposable laundry bags.

5. Remove your shoes before entering the house.

This step is more preventative, but it’s a simple way to keep from tracking in contaminants. Remove your shoes before going inside and leave them near the door. It's also a good idea to clean floor surfaces with disinfecting mop cloths, but be sure anything you use is safe for the finished surface. Cleaners like bleach can discolor certain materials.

6. Don't forget to clean your car.

Even people vigilant about cleaning their home can neglect their car interior. Since you’re constantly touching virtually every surface, be sure to wipe everything down regularly, including the steering wheel and door handles. If you have a leather interior, there are auto wipes available for those surfaces. And before you go wipe down any touchscreens, be sure to check your owner’s manual to see if they require any special microfiber cloth.

7. Give your debit cards a wipe.

It’s a good idea to disinfect credit or debit cards that follow you around on shopping excursions. As with all high-touch objects, be sure to wipe them down every day.

[h/t New York Times]

The World Health Organization Is Releasing a COVID-19 App to Combat Coronavirus Misinformation

WHO MyHealth is meant to help clear up misinformation surrounding the novel coronavirus.
WHO MyHealth is meant to help clear up misinformation surrounding the novel coronavirus.
MangoStar_Studio/iStock via Getty Images

As is the case with most crises, the novel coronavirus has become a breeding ground for misinformation. Because the disease is so new, there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding it, but that hasn't stopped people from claiming to know how to treat, prevent, and detect COVID-19. In an effort to separate fact from fiction, the World Health Organization (WHO) is launching an app dedicated to sharing what we know and don't know about the virus, 9to5Google reports.

Named WHO MyHealth, the new app is a collaboration between former Google and Microsoft employees, WHO advisors and ambassadors, and other tech and health experts. Users will be able to compare their symptoms with those linked to COVID-19 and receive public health updates specific to their location. As of now, there are plans to invite people who have been either been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 to share their phone's location history to give experts a better idea of how the virus spreads.

WHO MyHealth, which is currently being built as open source, is set to roll out for Android and iOS on Monday, March 30. If you have questions about COVID-19 you need answered immediately, you can also access accurate and up-to-date information through the WHO's chatbot.

Any information regarding novel coronavirus should be met with skepticism when it can't be traced back to organizations like the WHO or the CDC—especially when it comes to supposed cures. No specific medication has been proven to treat or prevent COVID-19, so you shouldn't take advice from anyone claiming otherwise.

[h/t 9to5Google]