Promoting Physical Activity through Active People, Healthy INDY℠!

We are happy to feature a guest blogger this week from one of Jump IN’s most valuable partners, the Marion County Public Health Department. Enjoy!

The Costs of Physical Inactivity

Physical activity is one of the best things that can be done by any one person to prevent or decrease the onset of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The effects of physical activity have also been shown to improve sleep, physical function, and mental state. However, the majority of Americans do not meet physical activity recommendations. These recommendations are developed by a team of experts brought together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify the appropriate amount of physical activity needed to see significant health benefits.  Today, only 25% of Americans meet these physical activity recommendations.

The lack of physical activity costs our communities more than just lives…it costs money, too. Approximately $117 billion dollars are spent each year in healthcare costs all related to preventable illness and chronic disease treatment. This amount does not take into consideration other significant costs such as employee absenteeism or health insurance premiums for employers.     

Design logo for Active People, Healthy Indy, a new wellness campaign led by the Marion County Department of Public Health

A National Campaign

To bring awareness to the need for increased physical activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Active People, Healthy Nation℠ campaign to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027 by building active and walkable communities around the country. The campaign focuses on proven strategies to increase physical activity such as:

For more information on this initiative, visit the Active People, Healthy Nation℠ webpage.

A Local Initiative

In 2019, the city of Indianapolis was ranked 96th by the American Fitness Index out of 100 major cities in America. This ranking is based on whether a city has strengths and resources that support healthy living with fewer challenges that hinder it. The Trust for Public Land provides ParkScore® rankings for cities based on the proximity residents are to local parks. According to the 2019 Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore® ranking, approximately 35% of Indianapolis residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. The national average is 54%. The primary mode of transportation in Marion County is an automobile. The census bureau reported that between 2013 and 2017, less than 2% of residents walked or biked to work regularly.

A mom and daughter take a jog outside in their neighborhood.

This need for increased physical activity in Marion County communities is what inspired the Cardiovascular Program at the Marion County Public Health Department to recently adopt this national initiative at the local level by collaborating with community organizations to support and integrate priorities which increase physical activity.

Stay up to date on the Active People, Healthy INDY℠ initiative by visiting the Marion County Health Department’s page or by following #ActivePeopleHealthyIndy.   

Active People, Healthy Nation is an HHS service mark. Use of Active People, Healthy NationSM does not imply review, approval, or endorsement by HHS.