CDC: Californians Are More Physically Active Than U.S. Population
While Californians are more physically active than the nation as a whole, more needs to be done to promote physical activity and improve health, according to CDC's State Indicator Report on Physical Activity 2014, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
Being physically active can reduce the risk for depression, certain types of cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and type 2 diabetes, according to CDC.
The report found that in California:
- 19.1% of adults did not take part in any physical activity in their leisure time, compared with 25.4% nationally; and
- 3.8% biked or walked to work, compared with 3.4% nationally.
In addition, 58.3% of California's population lives within half a mile of a park.
The report recommended three strategies for increasing physical activities among communities:
- Create or enhance residents' access to safe locations for exercise;
- Design and maintain streets that are safe for pedestrians to use; and
- Enhance physical education programs in schools and child-care facilities.
Merced County Addressing Inactivity
In Merced County, officials have launched several initiatives to address inactivity among residents. About 41% of children and 75% of adults in the county are overweight, according to public health officials.
Claudia Corchado, manager of Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program's health services program, said CCROPP has partnered with Merced County to open school exercise facilities outside of normal school hours.
In addition, county officials have drafted plans to improve streets in an effort to encourage students to walk or bike to school. Corchado said, "Sometimes people overlook that they easiest way for children to engage in physical activity is to have them walk to school. The problem is that some areas don't have sidewalks, crossing lights or signs that show you're entering a school zone."
The Merced County Public Health Department also is working with the Winton School District and the Sacramento-based Local Government Commission to conduct a walkability assessment (Ibarra, Merced Sun-Star, 7/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.