The pandemic made everyone realize that an individual’s well-being is strongly connected to the community’s well-being. Unless every member of a community focuses on self-care, ensuring societal health is difficult, if not impossible. So, public health is a major concern among healthcare practitioners in the United States.
How can we improve the well-being of our community and avoid another outbreak? It all boils down to a few simple suggestions discussed in this article. So, go through the recommendations and implement them in your society to enhance societal health. Education is the first step in this long journey to ensuring the community’s well-being. So, here’s what you have to do now:
Here are 10 ways to improve community well-being
Get everyone vaccinated
Start by educating people about the importance of vaccination and how it can save them from many diseases, e.g., COVID-19. You can dispel different rumors regarding vaccination to make people realize the medical benefits of COVID shots. Refute their anti-vaccine biases by showing them that vaccines have prevented millions of deaths and are among the most effective public health interventions to control the spread of diseases. Vaccination protects others around you and keeps your family members healthy.
Encourage public health education.
Many people choose a career in public health to help small-sized communities enhance their health. They can promote societal well-being by earning a master’s degree in public health. So, you, too, can consider distance learning options to hone your public health expertise. Find quality MPH programs online and learn different ways to improve a community’s well-being and ensure societal health. MPH programs teach students about biostatistics, epidemiology, and even behavioral sciences. These subjects can help you begin a career in public health if you’re interested.
When the first doctor came up with the idea of handwashing, everyone called him a lunatic. Now, everyone knows that Ignaz Semmelweis was right all along; keeping a clean pair of hands prevents the transmission of dangerous germs to other people. This concept may have seemed alien to the people in 1847, but the benefits of handwashing are very clear to everyone today. We are surrounded by germs and can’t stop picking them up whenever we are outside. But we can kill these bacteria by washing our hands. Handwashing is among the cheapest ways to ensure people’s well-being.
Establish community gardens
Another way to promote a healthier lifestyle is to establish community gardens. Make people more familiar with greenery and harness their friendships with nature! The more they go closer to nature, the healthier they can become. Spending time in nature can reduce stress and improve mental health. Also, breathing fresh air is good for the lungs and oxygen levels in the body. An average American home has more harmful airborne substances than the air outside.
Promote public transport
A survey from 2021 shows that transportation contributes 38% of carbon emissions in America. It is linked with climate change and several public health concerns, e.g., vehicular accidents and physical inactivity. On the other hand, carpooling and using public transit can reduce the dangerous effects of climate change. Public transport will improve a community’s air quality and reduce commuting costs.
Design activity-friendly cities
Public health experts – policymakers among them, particularly – should focus on creating activity-friendly cities to promote healthier lifestyles among citizens. Cities should be built to encourage biking, jogging, and walking in society to reduce the impact of chronic diseases. Walkable cities can make travel safer, exercise normal, and achievable good health. Show people some examples of America’s walkable cities and explain their benefits. For instance, the benefits of walkable cities include the following:
- Burns many calories
- Helps people with asthma
- Reduces the risk of obesity
- It makes neighborhoods more sociable
- Prevents diabetes and heart conditions
Practice healthy habits
Make children familiar with healthy habits early on to create a generation of health-conscious kids. You can promote different healthy hobbies among children, such as gardening, craftsmanship, or even animal husbandry (i.e., taking care of pets). These activities will reduce the risk of childhood obesity caused by sedentary lifestyles and mold kids into physically active adults.
Promote volunteer work
Volunteering promotes a sense of social connection among community members and develops their love for humanity. You can organize volunteer activities such as soup kitchens and donation drives to help less privileged people and improve the community’s well-being. Volunteering makes people more physically active and socially responsible.
Provide regular exercise
25% of Americans right now live a sedentary lifestyle, which is harmful n many ways. Public health experts suggest people exercise more often instead of lounging around the whole day. Ask your community members to stay active and ditch inactive lifestyles. Provide people with numerous exercise opportunities. Creating walkable cities, for instance, is a proposal to offer a community a unique exercise opportunity. Similarly, consider the following amazing proposals:
- Offer dance workshops
- Have some kickball games
- Organize yoga and reiki classes
- Arrange cycling tours around the city
- Invite people of all ages to a walk-a-thon
Give healthy options
Many people don’t live healthy lifestyles simply because they aren’t offered healthy alternatives. So, public health experts can make sure everyone has easy access to healthy meals, healthy drinks, and healthy pastimes. So, you can donate healthy foods to communal pantries or arrange for nutrition-rich meals for kids in school. Now, you can ensure people grow affection for healthy lifestyles.
The average life expectancy was on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2020, it’s been decreasing; in 2022, it was 76.4, the shortest ever recorded in the last two decades. It means that Americans need to take their well-being into their hands and do something to improve the health of their communities. If you’re interested, you can become a public health professional and lead the change. Besides that, raising awareness about healthy habits and ensuring everyone in your community follows them can make a considerable difference in improving people’s well-being.
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