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A report on the general health of Americans has been released and ranks each state based on physical health, job satisfaction, and other quality-of-life characteristics. While Hawaii, Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, and Vermont ranked 1-5 as the healthiest, many others are, too. Those ranked lower need to feel bad since the report surveyed a sample of people from each state. It’s not a coincidence that people who reported being happy with their jobs smoked less, had lower risks of heart disease and diabetes. People who are unhappy with their jobs will smoke more, eat more, and be less inclined to exercise. While this is not surprising, the statistics for how people rate their lives are: 53 percent felt they were thriving, 43 percent said they were struggling, and 3.5 percent were suffering. What constitutes “prosper” was not mentioned. Onward with more fun health news.

Children: The tooth fairy adjusts for inflation

The tooth fairy has adjusted the rewards she leaves under the bed pillows for inflation. It seems that in 2012 she paid a whopping $3.49 for the first missing tooth and, on average, back teeth cost the legendary $2.49. Long ago, the writer charged twenty-five cents for the big front teeth, ten cents per molar, and five cents for the rest. The time has changed. Inflation is rising. Today is National Tooth Fairy Day. Maybe someone bought you a winning Powerball ticket.

Seniors: Are You Satisfied With Your Health Coverage?

We know that working with health insurers can be a real hassle. Sometimes it takes an incredible number of phone calls to get an answer to a question. A recent survey found that 94 percent were satisfied with the quality of care, 90 percent were satisfied with the benefits, and 81 percent were satisfied with their out-of-pocket costs. This is very good news even as cutbacks in health care will soon be felt across the country.

Now they tell me!

Today’s Nintendo lovers can tell their parents that playing the game all day and night leads to better surgical skills later in life. There. I told you. A recent study found that surgical students who used a Wii controller had much better skills across 16 different skill sets than those who didn’t. The researchers noted that laparoscopic simulators are expensive and difficult for students to obtain, while video games, consoles, and controllers are less expensive and readily available. Any game that comes with 3D graphics and requires great hand-eye coordination is good for America’s future chumps. I wonder if the joysticks I used years ago are as good as a Wii controller?

Blame the Roomba

The more technology we have to do housework, the more sedentary we become and therefore the more overweight we become. Well, it’s true up to a point. We have more technology in the home that allows women who do housework to have a better time. Think of the Roomba and dishwashers that do almost everything except put them away when they’re done (and why they don’t) and laundry systems that allow us to wash and dry clothes in less time. All this leads us to relax and not do any exercise. It is true that cleaning the house does not cost us as much as it did in the 60s and 70s. Many working women have cleaning ladies or weekly housekeepers. Those who don’t have this luxury can still turn on a Roomba and then lie down to watch TV while it vacuums the carpet. What’s wrong with that?

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