One of the healthiest places to live!

We don’t always achieve our health and wellness goals.

Sometimes work or family obligations take precedent over that walk, run, or bike ride. We go out to dinner with friends and are having so much fun that we enjoy that dessert. We have a minor injury or don’t feel well and can’t get to the gym or health center.

That’s the way we on the Chamber’s Health & Wellness Council feel about our 2018 ranking as the second healthiest county in New York State.

We LOVED being ranked number one, first in 2016 and again in 2017.

But when the University of Wisconsin’s Population Institute released their latest compilation of health data, Saratoga County at number 2.

Congratulations Rockland County!

Now we’re all in this together as we strive to again be ranked as the healthiest county in New York State.

EVERYONE can help.

Where did we go wrong?

Let’s start with the notion that we didn’t make a mistake. We didn’t fail. There were some minor changes in our outcomes where we had done just a little better in prior years.

Here are some of the more interesting findings.

Let’s start with a positive note – our county “health factors” actually improved from 3 to 2.

Health factors represent the focus areas that drive how long and how well we live. This is better because more people have health insurance; preventable hospital stays are down; and diabetes monitoring is up.

The “social and economic factors” measure also improved from 2 to 1. This is likely explained by our rising health school graduation rates across Saratoga County.

On the other hand, the measure for “physical environment” dropped with Saratoga County as the 44th ranked county in New York State in 2018, up from 39th a year earlier.

This factor looks at air pollution, drinking water violations, housing costs, driving alone to work and a long commute.

We’re particularly BAD with 83% of our workforce driving alone to work.

This compares with top performing counties across the US at 72%.

Now here is a trend that may surprise you.

Saratoga County is getting worse when it comes to adult obesity and physical inactivity.

And perhaps there is a connection here that we’d like to share.

Our workforce spends considerably more time in a car alone driving to work.

Doing this, we all have less time for physical activity. Less physical activity creates more opportunity for people to gain weight.

It is, as they say, a vicious cycle.

It is a cycle we need to break, especially if we want to again be the number one healthiest county in New York State.

That is the goal of our #healthsaratoga movement.

That is the goal of all of the Chamber’s members who participate in our Health and Wellness programs and council.

We’re doing well. But we can still do better.

And if you want some advice or support, the members of our Health & Wellness Council are ready to help!