Want to beat the doldrums and those nagging sniffles and sneezes? Get a college diploma - preferably in South Dakota.
A state-by-state government health survey shows that college graduates felt better emotionally and physically than high school dropouts. And no graduates felt better on more days than those in South Dakota.The survey, released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reinforces past studies "that say the environment, the economy and socioeconomic levels are an indicator of a person's health," CDC researcher Dave Moriarty said.
College graduates feel better emotionally and physically than high school dropouts because they have better jobs, take better care of themselves and have better access to health care, the study said.
College graduates felt healthy an average of 26 days a month, while high school dropouts felt good 22.8 days a month.
In Utah, college graduates reported feeling healthy only slightly less often than the national average, or 25.6 days a month. Utah's high school dropouts felt good only 21.5 days a month, significantly less often than the national average.
Broken down by state, the survey indicated that South Dakota's college graduates had the highest average of healthy days a month, 27.1. High school dropouts there reported feeling healthy 23.8 days a month.
"Some of the hassles of urban life are not present here," said Lance Parker of South Dakota's Public Health Department. "There's only 700,000 people here and about 75,000 square miles. There's the clean air and clean water."
At the other end of the survey results, Kentucky - one of the nation's top tobacco and coal producers - had the lowest number of healthy days. College graduates there reported feeling well 23.7 days a month, and high school dropouts felt well only 21.3 days.