American Hearth Association
Where you live can have a significant impact on your health. That is according to the American Heart Association. As part of the EmPOWERED To Serve™ movement, the organization is attempting to promote healthy living in a diverse range of areas. They have recognized that individual actions alone do not determine the health of an individual. Instead, the community’s health is impacted by its environment also.
The American Hearth Association has gathered experts, industry professional and thought leaders for a conference in Washington DC. Here they will discuss some key topics such as:
- Community transformation and the root causes that impact social determinants of health.
- Why and how your zip code may increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other types of heart disease.
- Engaging unconventional partners to drive creative solutions for collaborative health impact.
The mission of the American Heart Association is to encourage people to live healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. For many years they have campaigned and raised public awareness about unhealthy lifestyle choices. They have target poor diet and harmless habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption as leading causes of heart disease.
Now they are highlighting the impact of a community’s health by the surrounding environment. The aim of the conference is to create a culture of health in under-resourced communities across the United States. The Association has pointed out that your zip code could determine your overall health and wellbeing. This creates a disparity in the health of the public. It also puts a strain on local resources such as hospitals and healthcare clinics. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to suffer the effects of poor health compared to more affluent areas.
The US Surgeon General has also noted the impact that living conditions have on health. They state that healthy and safe community environments include those with clean air and water, affordable and secure housing, sustainable and economically vital neighbourhoods. They suggest that individuals and families can take steps to improve their health by walking or biking to work or school. However, this requires facilities to be located in a closed environment. In many cases, poorer communities lack the resources in their immediate area, which requires people to commute longer distances.
They also suggest households to invest in energy-saving appliances for their home. Fuel poverty is an issue that can kill thousands, even in developed countries. Access to heating fuel during to winter, or air conditioning during the summer, is essential to maintain proper health.
Air pollution also has a major impact on the health of a community. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention believes that climate change will have a direct impact on human health. They believe that “climate change is projected to lead to increased concentrations of ozone and particulate matter in some regions. Increases in global temperatures could cause associated increases in premature deaths related to worsened ozone and particle pollution.”
Ultimately, the community in which you live could have a significant impact on your health. Disadvantaged areas tend to be near environments where there is a greater level of industrial concentration. This puts the public at risk of airborne particles. Poorer communities also tend to lack the resources that they need to live healthier lives. Whether this is access to nutritious and affordable food or healthcare clinics. Environments can play an important role on the lifespan of peoples lives.
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