Missouri fights low well-being rating

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COLUMBIA - 40.

That's the number of states that have a greater "overall well-being" ranking according to Gallup polling.

That number is a combination of a few different surveys averaged together, such as an average of people who are uninsured, the number of people who don't exercise or eat produce frequently and are worried about money.

The website breaks it down as a states' feeling in purpose, social, financial, community and physical aspects.

Missouri has been in a steady decline in unemployment since 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Without jobs, Missourians could feel a lack of purpose and have more and more financial issues without a source of income.

Tim Sharrock works with adult education at Columbia Public Schools in order to help high school students and adults alike learn the skills they need in order to be attractive to employers.

He said one of the problems people hunting for job prospects face is inexperience.

"A lot of what I hear about people trying and not succeeding getting into the workforce is about the soft skills," Sharrock said. "People need to dress professionally, they need to be on time, some people go into a job only thinking 'what are you going to do for me?' when it really should be a mutual respect between employer and employee."

Sharrock said he is happy with the progress the people in his programs show and is excited to see them enter the workforce, which would combat Missouri's mounting unemployment.

On the other side of the report, Missouri is struggling with exercise and healthy diets. The survey looks at the percentage of state residents who report exercising for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week.

Columbia resident Rachel Brown goes out of her way to exercise, even with a busy schedule.

"I'm a freshman at Mizzou, and I've got a nine-month-old too," Brown said. "So exercise is my stress relief and helps keep me trim and get back in shape after childbirth."

In terms of suggestions on how to get Missourians motivated, Columbia resident Tracey Owen said it's all a matter of perspective.

"If you can get outside and enjoy what there is to offer, I think it would help those people who aren't gym people," Owen said. "If you get out there and see some trees and green grass and fresh breeze...it's nice."

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