Lucas County is teaming up with Live Healthy Iowa to improve the health of the county’s residents and improve its overall ranking in the newly released Active Index. Since 1988, the obesity rate in Iowa has increased from 14 percent to 32 percent. Iowa’s less than desirable national rankings for obesity and inactivity have contributed to the overall health of the state’s residents, which led to development of the Active Index.
Currently, out of the 99 counties in Iowa, Lucas County ranks 22 in the Active Index, with a participation rate of 9.55%. The 2017 ranking improved from the 2016 ranking of 99.
Live Healthy Iowa’s Active Index provides a measurement of where each county ranks across Iowa. Rankings in the Active Index are based on county members’ participation in select Live Healthy Iowa and Iowa Sports Foundation challenges and events, including the 10 Week Wellness Challenge, Live Healthy Iowa 5K, The Next Step Challenge, Kid’s Fall Fitness Day/Healthiest State Walk, Summer Iowa Games and Winter Iowa Games.
“Like other counties in Iowa, we know that the obesity rate and overall health statistics of Lucas County are something that we need to address,” say Amber Letz, Certified Health Coach. “Forging a closer partnership with Live Healthy Iowa by working to achieve a better Active Index ranking will provide us with a roadmap for improvement and help us to engage our residents – of all ages and activity levels – to participate in healthy and active opportunities to improve their health.”
Recently, county members met with Dr. Amy Michelle Willcockson, director of Live Healthy Iowa and [Chuck Long, CEO and executive director of the Iowa Sports Foundation and former NFL and University of Iowa football star] to discuss Lucas County’s health rankings and develop a plan for improvement.
“We’re excited to be working with the Lucas County Food & Wellness Alliance to develop a countywide activity plan, set goals for improved health and rankings, inspire and motivate individuals and companies, provide turnkey programs and attractive incentives, and foster accountability among participants,” Willcockson said.
“When individuals start to care more about their own health that can extend to family, friends and neighbors – people within one’s community – contributing to a healthier and more active county. Our goal with the Active Index is simple and straightforward: to improve the overall health of Iowans person by person, county by county.”
There is no charge for counties to be part of the Active Index; there are only minimal participation fees in the annual challenges.
The Lucas County Food & Wellness Alliance is preparing for Live Healthy Iowa’s 10 Week Wellness Challenge, which begins January 22nd. Community members are invited to learn more about this event by visiting www.livehealthyiowa.org or liking The Lucas County Food & Wellness Alliance on Facebook. Informational booths will be set up at Hy-Vee on January 6th and 13th from 10 AM – noon and January 8th and 15th from 4 – 6 PM.