According to the County Health Rankings 2014, published through the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), Illinois counties of the Chicago area are among the top when it comes to living healthy.
Ranks are based on two categories: Health Outcomes, and Health Factors. While health outcomes look at the big picture (length and quality of life), health factors embody a wider array of health measures.
These sub-measures include: Health Behaviors; Clinical Care; Social & Economic Factors; and the Physical Environment. Each category is then subdivided into more categories which are then used to determine a county’s healthy living score.
Looking at the Chicago area as a whole, more than half its communities are in the top 25 of the list. Way to go, Chicago! With the highest scores in choice of diet and exercise, and a high score in lowest use of both tobacco and alcohol, Chicago has something to be proud of.
If working toward being the healthiest city in America isn't enough, Chicago has its work cut out for them to get the rest of their state to join the effort. Although Illinois is ranking top dog in Chicago, the southern tip looks as though they need some wind under their wings. With all of this hype over being the healthiest in America, why not make it a goal of an entire state?
Chicago may have the ego to be the best—however, if living healthy in just the city of Chicago is the only goal, well then they might as well just forget about it. The point of being healthy, living healthy, and contributing toward healthy lifestyles, is to do so with a community, a county, and a state. Sharing great health programs, ideas, and offering help where needed, is what it takes to become the greatest and healthiest community/city/state in America.
Wondering what your county health rank is? Go to www.countyhealthrankings.org and see how your community/county/state is doing. Plus see how you can get involved, and how you can spread the word and help!