Our communities deserve opportunities for healthy living

 En Español

All communities deserve opportunities for healthy living, such as better food options, safer streets for walking and biking, more places to play, and more ways for children to be active during and after school.

However, cost, lack of access, and/or a busy modern life can make healthy living difficult. That’s why it’s important to make changes in our communities that can improve health for everyone. This is especially true in African American and Hispanic communities, where higher rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes are common.1,2,3

Fortunately, there are things we can do in our community to make the places where we live, work, learn, and play healthier. Consider these four tips to make healthy living easier:

  • Get involved with your local school system. Our children deserve more ways to be active during and after school. Schools can promote physical activity by including time for recess, after-school clubs, interscholastic sports, and physical education classes.
  • Take a new route to school or work. Our community deserves more places to walk and bike. Being more physically active is easier when there are safe streets, sidewalks, and bike paths. Learn more about efforts in your community.
  • Support local food options. Our community deserves better food options. Farmers markets offer a place for local growers to bring fresh, healthy foods to your community. Corner stores can offer healthy options such as fruits and vegetables. Community gardens transform vacant spaces into an effective food and income source.
  • Consider joint use agreements. Our children deserve more places to play. Joint use agreements can help in opening school grounds after hours and on weekends. This ensures there is a place for kids to go to be active and have fun outside of school hours.

What does your community deserve? What can you do to affect change in your community? Explore the healthy living resources here on MakingHealthEasier or visit www.cdc.gov/deserve for more information.  A full range of materials can be found at http://makinghealtheasier.org/deserve.


[1] CDC. Diabetes — United States, 2004 and 2008. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2011 Jan 14;60 Suppl:90-3. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6001a20.htm?s_cid=su6001...

[2] Ujcic-Voortman JK, Schram MT, Jacobs-van der Bruggen MA, Verhoeff AP, Baan CA. Diabetes prevalence and risk factors among ethnic minorities. Eur J Public Health 2009;19(5):511-515. http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/5/511.full

[3] American Heart Association. American Heart Association Statistical Update. 2013;127: e6-e245. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/127/1/e6.full

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The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that children and adolescents aged 6-17 years should have 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day.
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