Environmental health is not only how our surrounding affects us, it is also how we interact with the environment.
Physical activity is one of the major pillars of health and longevity. Research indicates that physical activity is a main preventative measure against the development of metabolic syndrome and associated obesity, cardiovascular disease, and many other diseases. Recent studies also indicate that physical activity is a critical factor cancer therapy and one of the determinants of cancer survivorship.
With COVID-19 quarantines and other restrictions, activity levels for many of us were restricted in the last year. Indeed, not only the indoor gyms, pools, and exercise classes were suspended, but even closed state parks significantly reduced the viable options for staying active. Now, with many restrictions being lifted, it is time to reassess existing options and reintroduce healthy habits into our daily routines.
Mindful of the role of our interaction with the environment, the faculty and staff of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the UAMS College of Public Health initiated a challenge called “Healthy Habits by Environmental Health.” The goal of this program is to deliver the message of the importance of life factors, such as physical activity and proper nutrition, in shaping our state of health and, subsequently, our quality of life. Being true advocates for the active life style, the department hopes that others at UAMS will pick up this challenge to further promote healthy life choices among UAMS employees, students, patients, and, ultimately all Arkansans.
Here, we will share some stories we hope will inspire others to help achieve our ultimate goal: to make Arkansas the healthiest state in the region.