How Healthy is Your County?

I just checked! 84 % of people in my county (Deschutes, OR) are screened for diabetes. Yet, only 75% graduate from high school.  We are good and bad in terms of being a healthy county.

Published online at by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the County Health Rankings look at a variety of measures that affect health, such as high school graduation rates, access to healthier foods, air pollution levels, income, and rates of smoking, obesity and teen births.

This is important information – especially for the dedicated professionals seeking to positively impact lives in the K-12 environment. Hey, it can’t all be done by the PE teachers (oh no – we have so many fewer of that category in Central OR as well).  How do we engage the students most in need of the motivation to stay in school and refrain from behaviors that could negatively impact their health for life.

With all the focus on “overweight” as the target for our physical activity interventions we are not making the progress we hope for. Perhaps it is time to broaden our focus when it comes to the “physical activity participation” every human needs – daily – regularly – for life/learning/energy.

A new book educator and wellness advocate, Judy Shasek, released on March 29, 2011 can help.  It connects a lot of the dots that can lead to positive change in graduation and other “teen” issues – while adding the physical activity that’s a crucial piece. Get more information on PLAY4 SCHOOL: EXERLEARNING AND TEAM E3. It delivers the gamification of wellness in an easy to implement format.

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