How can Sevier County become a Healthier Tennessee Community? Russell Cliché, with the Governor’s Foundation for Health & Wellness will be addressing this topic on Tuesday, March 22 from 10:30 – 11:30 at the King Family Public Library. The public is welcome to attend this program, sponsored by the Sevier County Health Improvement Council.
Last year, Governor Bill Haslam and the Governor’s Foundation for Health & Wellness launched the Healthier Tennessee Community, a coordinated initiative supporting physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco abstinence at the local level.
“Encouraging and recognizing community-led change is a critical part of improving the health and lives of Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “The foundation has worked with businesses, schools and faith organizations, and this program brings together leaders at the local level in a coordinated way to support Tennesseans making healthier choices.”
Currently, Sevier County is ranked 42nd in the state health rankings on health behavior, according to the Sevier County Health Department. Thirty-five percent of adults are obese, 28% smoke, 37% have high blood pressure, 41% have high cholesterol, and 36% get little to no physical exercise. This puts them at risk for poor health and decreased productivity. That is one reason becoming a Healthier Tennessee Community is a positive step.
Positive changes can be made through small steps and community support. Research has shown that we are much more likely to change behavior and establish healthy habits when we are encouraged and supported by others. That is the basis of the Healthier Tennessee Community initiative. Making health and wellness an integral part of life where we live – and with the people who surround us – can make such a positive difference. And living a healthier life doesn’t have to take too much time, cost too much money or be too difficult. We just have to start now and take a few small steps – and keep taking them.
Becoming a Healthier Tennessee Community means being better able to attract quality jobs by increasing productivity and reducing absenteeism in the workforce. It means kids are better able to learn and that the rates of behavior-related chronic health conditions are lowered, thus helping to reduce healthcare costs. It means less illness and improved overall quality of life. It is a winning opportunity for the people of Sevier County.
Some businesses in Sevier County have already been certified as a Healthier Tennessee Workplace and are leading the way to becoming a Healthier Tennessee Community. However it does take a community, and partnerships are important in achieving this county status. Therefore make plans now to attend the presentation by Russell Cliché` on March 22 at the King Family Library, sponsored by the Sevier County Health Improvement Council. Representatives from churches, workplaces, schools, and interested individuals are welcome.