Healthy & Active Lifestyles

Healthy & Active Living Basics

The Delaware Public Health District recommends these healthy lifestyle basics for all Delaware County individuals and families. If you’re just starting out with trying to lose weight or make healthier choices, just pick one or two of these activities, and try adding more to your daily routine over time.

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and moderate amounts of whole grains
  • Drink more water
  • Reduce the daily number of soft drinks and juices with added sugars
  • Reduce the daily amount of high fat, high sugar, and high sodium foods
  • Choose low-fat dairy products or alternatives
  • Increase daily physical activity
  • Limit TV and computer time, especially for young children
  • For child-bearing families, breastfeed exclusively to 6 months when possible

Schools play an important and unique role in promoting healthy choices to our youth. Nationally, children in the U.S. are in schools for 6 hours a day which can directly impact the ways that they eat and participate in physical activity. Healthy kids are better learners and schools can help students practice making healthy choices that lay a foundation for living a healthy life.

The DPHD helps support the students, faculty, and staff in our schools to implement policies and practices that create healthy environments that support healthy eating and physical activity. Examples of policies, programs and or practices include:

  • Providing students with nutritious and appealing foods and beverages as well as accurate and consistent messaging about good nutrition.
  • Increasing ways to learn about and participate in healthy eating during their time spent at school.
  • Developing and adopting policies related to healthy food and beverage guidelines such as for food items offered in vending machines, snack bars, concession stands, and school affiliated fundraisers.
  • Join with parent-teacher organizations to support healthy eating and physical activity at every school building
  • Increase physical activity opportunities for students, ideally through daily physical education classes, daily recess, or in classroom physical activity.
  • Teacher and staff role modeling of healthy behaviors to students by being physically active, consuming healthy foods and beverages, and getting involved in the school’s employee wellness program.
  • Promoting physical activity before and after school such as walking or biking to and from school or afterschool activities. Additionally, schools can adopt safe routes to schools (SRTS) approaches to promote and make it easier for children to walk or bike to school.

Americans working full time spend more than one-third of their day, five days per week on average at the workplace. Workplace wellness programs and policies can help reduce health risks, and improve quality of life, leading to better productivity and reduced health care costs.

The Health District recommends these specific action steps for all Delaware County Employers to get started promoting a healthy lifestyle for their employees:

  • Establish worksite wellness programs with ongoing employee challenges.
  • Support breastfeeding through written policies and by providing a designated space.
  • Provide opportunities and incentives for physical activity at work, including group classes, outdoor exercise areas, walking paths and stairwell programs.
  • Provide healthy and affordable food and beverages in employee cafeterias and vending, and guidelines for serving healthy foods at meetings and trainings.
  • Provide ongoing messages at work that promote physical activity and healthy eating, creating a culture of wellness.
  • Provide employees and their dependents health benefits that cover obesity-reduction programs.

The CDC Workplace Health Resource Center is a great one-stop shop for finding accurate and actionable information to help employers launch or expand their workplace health promotion efforts.

The community we live in directly affects our healthy food and physical activity options which in turn affects the number of people who experience chronic disease and poor health outcomes. In the United States, chronic diseases are leading causes of death and disability, and some groups are affected more than others. For example, obesity is a chronic disease that increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many types of cancer. 

To help prevent chronic disease, the Delaware Public Health District promotes communities taking action to improve the healthy foods and physical activity to ensure that supports to living a healthy and active life are available in every neighborhood such as:

  • Participation in community coalitions to prevent disease and improve residents’ health.
  • Support and build more walking and bike paths, sidewalks, parks & green space, and community playgrounds.
  • Support community zoning and mixed use development that shortens the distance between home and shopping, encouraging more walking and bicycling to get to everyday activities.
  • Improve access to fresh local fruits and vegetables and other foods from local farms such as through Farmers’ Markets, CSA Programs, and community gardens.
  • Asking food retailers, restaurants, corner stores, and cafes to follow healthy food and beverage service guidelines, such as offering smaller portions and promoting healthy menu options.
  • Enhance personal and traffic safety in areas where people can be physically active.
  • Adopt Complete Streets Policies and other streetscape improvements to promote active transportation.
  • Improve access to public transportation.
  • Improve access to supermarkets in underserved areas, including offering incentives to food retailers to locate in underserved areas.

Current and Upcoming Activities, Programs & Events

The Delaware County CHIP is a long-term effort taken on by a multi-sector collaboration of partners and community residents to address health problems through developing goals and strategies which can help prioritize projects and resource efforts. To work toward improving health behaviors outcomes, the following strategies are recommended:

  • Adopt healthy food initiatives
  • Promote healthy lifestyle practices through education and skill building
  • Community fitness programs
  • Promotion of physical activity through the adoption of built environment changes and green space

If you are interested in learning more about the 2023-2028 CHIP, and the work we are doing in this area, please reach out to us!

The 2024 Healthy Communities Micro Grant (HCMG) proposal submission period is now closed. Please contact  Josie Bonnette or another member of our Community Health team on ways to get involved with promoting physical activity, healthy eating, and living a healthy and safe lifestyle.

HStepping Up to Prevent Falls (SUTPF) Coalition – Quarterly Meeting

The goal of the Stepping Up to Prevent Falls Coalition is to prevent injuries and deaths caused by falls among older adults by convening a group of committed, local partners to implement evidence-based strategies to prevent falls including increasing falls risk assessment, building systems for home assessment and modifications, and increasing access to balance and mobility trainings.

The SUTPF Coalition meets virtually at least once per quarter. The meeting is held on the 1st Thursday in March, June, September and December from 12pm – 1pm. If you are interested in learning more about preventing falls among older adults or attending the SUTPF coalition meetings, please contact Taylor Jaggers.

Josie Bonnette

Taylor Jaggers

Aly Hillier

Minimize Risk, Maximize Life — a program for adults of all ages who would like to learn about reducing the risk of problems related to alcohol consumption, for themselves or their loved ones, is once again being offered.
The next course will take place Wednesday, March 20 from 4:30-6:30pm at Delaware County District Library Liberty Branch located at 7468 Steitz Road, Powell, Ohio. Participants get a free $25 Walmart gift card by completing this one-time 2-hour course!