Could your House be Making you Fatter?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep your body fit by simply designing your home properly? While choosing a certain style of counter or a particular color of paint for your walls might not lower your blood pressure or help you fit in your prom dress again, it doesn’t seem too far fetched for there to be a few common threads that are often present in homes of healthy people but absent in homes of less healthy folks. To test this theory, we looked at some stats from (a nationwide resource matching homeowners to contractors in their area) and compared the types of home improvement projects preferred in “healthy” cities to those that are more common in less healthy areas. Here’s what we found!

Projects “Healthy” Cities Prefer
According to Men’s Fitness Magazine, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, and Denver are all pretty high on the healthy city list. So, what projects do homeowners in these areas enter most? Appliance repair is extremely popular in each of these cities, as is hiring a handyman for multiple small tasks. Landscaping and lawn care seem to be a priority in all three cities, too.

Common Projects in America’s Least Healthy Cities
Few will be surprised to know that Men’s Fitness voted Las Vegas as the least healthy city (or that, once again, Texas kills the competition, sporting 6 of America’s top 10 least fit cities). What is surprising, however, is that in these “unhealthy” cities, homeowners opt for nearly the exact same projects that are found in the healthy cities. Since so many cities on the second list are in the south and southwest, it’s no shock that each boasts a high amount of requests to install solar panels and to repair air conditioning, however, other than these two tasks, the lists of what projects are most common is quite similar to those of their healthier counterparts.

Where to Spot the Real Differences
While looking at lists of total numbers of requests in healthy and unhealthy cities hasn’t really turned up much, one big statistic rears its head when you start examining what types of projects are becoming more popular. San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston have each seen some pretty dramatic increases in the popularity of TV wall mounting and/or home theater accessory repair. According to HomeAdvisor statistics, homeowners in these cities have been calling for TV services sometimes 10 or even 20 times more often per month than what was recorded last year!

Other Conclusions
It seems as though, no matter where you go in America (or how rotund the people in your neighborhood are), the average homeowner tends to focus mostly on small home improvement tasks like appliance repair, plumbing fixture repair or replacement, or shingle repair. The absence of large, expensive projects makes sense, of course considering the current economic environment. To be sure, homeowners in healthy cities and unhealthy cities have far more in common with each other than they do with themselves 6 years ago, when some of the most common tasks HomeAdvisor processed were building water docks, installing central air conditioning, and installing radiant heating panels and flooring. Homeowners (both big and small) seem to be focusing on repairs rather than replacements and increasing the function of what they already have rather than building something new; and while following this trend might not help you lose 15 pounds, it could certainly assist in keeping your finances healthy!