Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program (NUPAO)
AZ Healthy Communities
Making the healthy choice the easy choice.
Where you live impacts your health, and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has recognized this connection. Working collaboratively with outside agencies, ADHS plans to help foster environments that support healthy behavior, such as biking and walking.
The purpose of AZ Healthy Communities is to link and support Arizona communities that are using, or are interested in using, collaborative approaches to healthy community planning and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. AZ Healthy Communities strives to increase neighborhoods that promote healthier lifestyles, increase evidence on the effectiveness of innovative healthy community planning, and decrease health and social inequities by focusing on the influence of where we live.
Did you know a 2012 study (see below) concluded that the average American spends an additional 34 hours per year, just sitting in traffic? How would you have spent an extra 34 hours? Traveling choices influence health; they can either support health, such as biking, walking and walking to a bus stop, or negatively influence our health, such as sitting in traffic. In addition to impacting opportunities for physical activity, they also affect quality of life, stress and air pollution.
- The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process occurs when transportation projects are likely to effect the environment, and its environmental impacts must be taken into consideration. This, in turn, can impact human health. Both the NEPA process and HIAs are tools for impacts to be further understood. The process provides an opportunity for health to be brought into the transportation conversation, and previous HIAs have focused on making the HIA process parallel the NEPA process. To learn more about NEPA, please refer to the following documents:
- Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT)
An online tool used to help calculate the health economic value of biking and walking, by calculating the reduced mortality because of specified amounts of biking and walking.
- American Public Health Association (APHA) Transportation and Health Toolkit
A variety of online tools for health and transportation professionals to understand the nexus between the two sectors. Provides webinars, research articles, case studies and advocacy letters.
- Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits
A report researched and written by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute documenting the economic, health and environmental benefits of public transportation and world-wide traffic fatality.