Healthy Communities – May 26, 2016

Stories from Small Towns

SmalltownUSAStories from Small Towns is a project of the National Physical Activity Society. The objective of the project is to demonstrate that structural changes to make walking easier can be carried out in America’s thousands of small towns and not just its big cities. The project focuses on advice from towns that have made some changes, with the aim of inspiring town leaders across the country to see such infrastructure as possible and worthy. Right now, NPAS is working on a second edition of Stories from Small Towns. If you know of a town of 25,000 or fewer people that has made changes that promote walkability, drop NPAS a line with contact information.

Enjoy these small town stories from the first edition: Decorah, Iowa, Madisonville, Kentucky, Traverse City, Michigan, Brentwood, Missouri, Hernando, Mississippi, Columbia, Pennsylvania, Heber City, Utah.

CDC’s “Health, United States” 2015 Report

CDC released the 39th edition of its “Health, United States” report, which overviews national health trends and focuses on statistics related to morbidity, mortality, healthcare utilization and access, health risk factors, prevention, health insurance, and personal health care expenditures. It also includes a special feature on racial and ethnic health disparities, highlighting how disparities manifest for each specific measure. Read the report here.

National Council on Aging – Healthy Aging Facts

healthy agingFor most older adults, good health ensures independence, security, and productivity as they age. Yet millions struggle every day with health and safety challenges such as chronic disease, falls, and mental health issues—all of which can severely impact quality of life. Join the administration for Community LIVING (ACL) in a Blazing a Trail to wellness this month. During May, share these facts with the seniors you serve. View Health Aging facts here.

U.S Food and Drug Administration – New Nutrition Facts Label

On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new Nutrition Facts label for most packaged foods that reflects the latest in nutrition science and includes additional nutrient information.

The new label features a refreshed design, reflects updated information about nutrition science and updates serving sizes and labeling requirements for certain package sizes.

Most food manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply with the new rules. The FDA plans to conduct outreach and education efforts on the new requirements.  For more information:

U.S Food and Drug Administration – Health and Diet Survey

The Health and Diet Survey is a periodic national telephone survey of adults (18 years and older) in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey results showed that:

  • 77% of U.S. adults reported using the Nutrition Facts label always, most of the time, or sometimes when buying a food product.
  • About 15% of adults reported using caffeinated energy and other caffeinated beverages in the past 30 days.
  • Nearly all adults thought the nation eats more salt than we should and those who are 51 years and older or have chronic illnesses should pay special attention to their salt intake.

Read more about this survey and its results here.

Why Healthy Communities Matter to Businesses: Data Reveals Linkages Between Health, Education and Job Preparedness

healthy communities

Research points to a link between unhealthy workforce and unhealthy communities. Even when an employer implements health-promoting strategies at the worksite, if employees then go home to unhealthy neighborhoods, the workplace progress is compromised. So, businesses and communities are working together to find ways to collaborate on investments in education, job training and wellness programs. Read more here.

Increased Physical Activity Associated With Lower Risk of 13 Types Of Cancer

A new study of the relationship between physical activity and cancer has shown that greater levels of leisure-time physical activity were associated with a lower risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. These findings, from researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society, confirm and extend the evidence for a benefit of physical activity on cancer risk and support its role as a key component of population-wide cancer prevention and control efforts. Click here to learn more.

The Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook: A Tool for Planners, Parks and Recreational Professionals, and Health Practitioners parks and trails

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Park Service (NPS) have created a new tool to assist communities. Well-designed parks and trails can promote physical activity, reduce stress, and provide environmental benefits. The Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook: A Tool for Planners, Parks and Recreational Professionals, and Health Practitioners is quick guide for incorporating public health considerations in the development and improvement of a park or trail. This tool can help start collaborative discussions about the health benefits of parks and trails and prepare for a health impact assessment (HIA). Go to the workbook to learn more.

May Is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month 

Employees who don’t get enough physical activity may be risking your company’s health bottom line. Physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. These chronic conditions lower productivity, raise health care costs, and in the case of obesity, increase the likelihood of workplace injuries by nearly 50 percent.

The benefits of regular physical activity include:

  • Feeling happier, less stressed, and mentally sharper.
  • Experiencing fewer sick days-people who exercise 5 or more days a week have 435 fewer sick days.
  • Being more productive-people say they’re 15% more productive on days they are physically active than on days when they aren’t.

Incorporate a few these activities to get your staff moving this month:

  • Walking meetings: Build physical activity into your everyday meetings by walking instead of sitting.
  • Stretch breaks: Encourage employees to stand up and stretch every 60 minutes.
  • Move It Monday: Research shows that starting a habit on Monday can be seen as a fresh start and has significant cultural meaning. Click here for activities to implement on Monday.

Find more resources to engage employees:

CDC Workplace Tips

Everybody Walks/Workplace Resources

Steps to Wellness: A Guide to Implementing the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in the Workplace

Oregon Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee seeks two new members
The Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is seeking two new members. The committee was first formed by Oregon Statute 366.112, a bill passed in the 1973 Oregon Legislature. In 1995, the Oregon Transportation Commission officially recognized the committee’s additional role in pedestrian issues, and the group became the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, or OBPAC. The eight-member committee, appointed by the governor, acts as a liaison between the public and ODOT. It advises ODOT in the regulation of bicycle and pedestrian traffic and the establishment of bikeways and walkways. Members serve four-year terms. OBPAC is seeking applicants for the following membership categories:

  • One member under the age of 21 at the time of appointment.
  • One member at large.

The committee meets up to six times per year, with several of those meetings in locations outside of the Salem area. Throughout the year, the committee gathers input from residents, officials and ODOT staff as it considers bicycle and pedestrian transportation-related issues. Travel expenses are reimbursed. Upcoming work items include implementation of the new Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Modal Plan, ConnectOregon VI grant application review, and input on the department’s new intermodal policies.

For questions about the appointment process, contact Judge Kemp, Boards and Commissions manager, (503) 378-2317, For questions about the committee, contact Sheila Lyons, ODOT Bicycle & Pedestrian Program manager, (503) 986-3555,



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