Factors that improve community health
Improving community health is a huge undertaking that involves cooperation between public health workers, local government, volunteers and average citizens alike—and the end products of their work can take a lot of forms. “Communities benefit from walking trails and bike paths, from access to healthy food and playgrounds, from accessible healthcare services, schools and places of employment, as well as affordable housing,” Bognanno says.
Education also plays a large role in maintaining community health. Health fairs and advertising campaigns that expose the dangers of risk factors like tobacco exposure, poor nutrition and physical inactivity can raise awareness about the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle. The CDC has also focused on promoting nutrition guidelines in schools and increasing the amount of physical education children receive.4
Individuals can step up to the plate for their community’s health by volunteering at health fairs or blood drives, petitioning local officials to develop more green space and walking trails and maintaining their own health. “The collective responsibilities that individuals have for their communal health can lead to positive interactions within the community as a whole,” Backe says.