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National Public Health Week runs from April 6-12 this year, serving as a way to bring communities from across the country together to address health issues important to our country. Sponsored by the American Public Health Association, this annual campaign places a spotlight on both local and national concerns that require year-round attention. 

You may not think your actions have much of an impact on your community as a whole, but they can. Choose a public health issue close to your heart and find a way to promote it in your local community. Here are a few ideas to get you started on making your community a better place to live!

1. Start Being Healthy at Work

Talk to your Human Resources Department to see if they would consider starting an employee wellness program or think about taking small steps like switching to healthy snacks in the break room vending machines. If an employee wellness program already exists, you may also be able to help promote it. Encourage people to take charge of their health by joining you in a morning or lunchtime workout or walking group. You might be surprised at the number of people who adopt healthier habits when given the right encouragement.

2. Volunteer at a Local Social Services Organization

Find out what non-profit organizations offer social services that contribute to the health of your community. Learn about what they do and how they operate. You’re likely to find that many of these organizations rely on the help of volunteers and that you may have a skill that would benefit their cause. By volunteering your time to one of these groups, you can help them reach more people. A small effort from you can have a huge impact on the lives of those in need!

3. Encourage Carpooling and the Use of Public Transit

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people who live, work or go to school near a major road appear to have an increased risk and severity of health problems caused by exposure to air pollution. Alarmingly, as of 2009, the Agency estimates that more than 45 million people live within 300 feet of a highway with 4 or more lanes or an airport. Do your part to improve outdoor air quality by encouraging people you know to carpool and use public transportation. Set an example by taking the bus to work or starting a carpool group with co-workers who live in your area.

4. Pursue a Public Health Career

Want to help make our world a better place to live? If public health is something you’re really passionate about, consider making a career of it. South University offers a Master of Public Health degree program, where you can gain the skills needed to handle a wide-range of health-related issues. Request information to learn more today.

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