National Public Health Week

Together, We Can Make the U.S. the Healthiest Nation


By Susan Polan, Ph.D.

Associate Executive Director for Public Affairs and Advocacy, American Public Health Association

There are many steps we can all take to live a healthier life. We can walk more to increase our physical activity. We can make sure we get sufficient sleep. We can practice good hand hygiene to help prevent the spread of germs.

But there are many factors that profoundly limit our ability to make healthy choices. These include having access to quality education; affordable, nutritious food; safe, walkable neighborhoods; health insurance; safe housing; and much more.

That’s why this week — National Public Health Week —people from communities around the country are banding together with the American Public Health Association to help build a movement for better health. While we spend more on health care than many other high-income countries, Americans live shorter lives and suffer more health issues than our peers.

We can do better.

During National Public Health Week, we’re rallying around a theme of “Healthiest Nation 2030” and asking ourselves what it will take to make the U.S. the healthiest nation within the next generation. Solutions include designing healthier communities with pedestrian- and bike-friendly routes, helping all young people graduate from high school, providing quality health care for everyone and strengthening our public health system to protect our communities from disease and other health threats.

Join us by signing our Healthiest Nation pledge, or visit www.nphw.org to learn more about how to improve your health; the health of your family, friends and neighbors; and the health of the nation.

Together, we can make a difference.

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