Last week I wrote about sustainable communities. It was born out of my frustration in my own community that is arranged in a way that negatively affects the health of those of us who live here.
There are many determinants of health that can negatively or positively affect the physical, mental, and social well-being of a societies residents as well as the obesity rates,.
Top on the generally agreed-upon list includes your physical and social environment. Obviously your personal health practices including what you eat and how much physical activity you get are very important. It’s frankly not as simple however as it may seem to consistently practice good personal health practices. Due to different income and social status levels, different education or employment working conditions, as well as the environment of the neighborhoods in which we live, it may be much more difficult to stay healthy. In some neighborhoods they speak of food deserts in which residents have to travel a great distance to to find healthy fresh food.
It is therefore essential, that we as a society work to make our communities as healthy as possible. We need to arrange our neighborhoods so they promote safe activity that can contribute to good health. Healthy fresh food needs to be available. Save clean water is essential. There is so much more that community leaders can do to improve the health of the people that live in our neighborhoods.
Obviously there is so much that we can do ourselves such as receiving adequate sleep exercising daily and eating healthy. Community leaders and educators, would be well served, by continuing to work to minimize real and potential barriersto these healthy activities.