Health And Wellness In Colorado

As a Health and Wellness Coach it’s always important to take a close look at any new client’s current health and wellness in order to make a plan for them to reach their goals.

Now I’m not certain what the Health or for that matter the Wellness goals are for the State of Colorado but the State of Colorado is not my client.  However, it is the environment in which our clients live and as anyone knows you tend to reflect similarities with those who surround Health and Wellness Imageyou.  So I think it’s important to take a look at the overall health and wellness of a state to have a general sense of the population, which are, in fact, our potential clients.

Now I will say that I approached this article with an assumption that I’ve since found were a bit off.  I’d always assumed Colorado was one of the healthiest states, if not the healthiest state, in the US.  Not true.  Not really even close to true.

One of the most highly regarded reports for comparing health and wellness among states is from United Health Foundation in its America’s Health RankingsÒ.  In 2012 Colorado is ranked 11th.  Not too shabby, but out of only 50 there’s certainly some room for improvement.  What is terrific, however, is Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in the United States, which is very encouraging.

The report is impressive in how comprehensive it is in its analysis.  They look at the following in their core measures: Smoking, Binge Drinking, Obesity, Sedentary Lifestyle, High School Graduation Rate, Infectious Disease, Children in Poverty, Air Pollution, Violent Crime, Occupational Fatalities, Lack of Health Insurance, Public Health Funding, Immunization Coverage, Primary Care Physicians, Preventable Hospitalizations, Low Birthweight, Diabetes, Poor Mental Health Days, Poor Physical Health Days, Geographic Disparity, Cardiovascular Deaths, Cancer Deaths, Premature Death, Infant Mortality

Some interesting highlights for Colorado in the 2012 America’s Health RankingsÒ report:

  • Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in the U.S. at 20.7 percent of the population, with 805,000 obese adults.
  • In the past year, the incidence of infectious disease cases rose from 7.3 to 11.1 cases per 100,000 population.
  • In the past year, the percentage of children in poverty decreased from 18.5 percent to 15.5 percent of persons under the age of 18.
  • In the past 5 years, per capita public health funding rose from $55 to $81.
  • In the past 10 years, the rate of preventable hospitalizations declined from 57.2 to 46.6 discharges per 1,000 Medicare enrollees.
  • In the past 10 years, the rate of cardiovascular deaths declined from 282.2 to 213.3 deaths per 100,000 population.

From an article by ABC News regarding the United Health Foundation report, Anthony Shih, executive vice president for Programs at the Commonwealth Fund says “People should care about this report.  It is clear that where you live matters in terms of overall health and it should motivate action to improve.”

In the name of improvement I will point out that Colorado’s health and wellness improved fairly considerably in the last year as it was ranked 14th.

Now talk about improvement, Vermont is #1 overall in this report in 2012 and has held that coveted spot for 4 consecutive years.  In 1990 when this report began, Vermont was ranked 20th and Colorado was ranked 10th.  So while Colorado has slid slightly, Vermont came from far behind to shoot to the top and set the pace.

So in health and wellness what’s the takeaway?  No matter where you start today, it’s important to know that you can vastly improve your health and wellness.  And like any goal… whether it be in career, or income, or finding love you just have to set a goal, set your eye on the prize and go for it.

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