Wellness Wednesday – Environmental Health with Nurse Lauren
Hi there, Nurse Lauren here with your Wellness Wednesday tip! It’s the first week of April which means it is National Public Health Week. The purpose of this initiative by the American Public Health Association (@PublicHealth) is to combat what causes the risks for diseases and poor health in individuals and in communities. Today we are going to talk about environmental health. You might be thinking – environmental health is about pollution and recycling and you might be asking – what does environmental health have to with my health? My answer to that is – A LOT!!
Protect our Planet
Protecting and maintaining a healthy planet is imperative to our personal health because it ensures the cleanliness of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Climate change is another factor causing risks to our health by effecting our water, air, food, disease risks, and overall well-being. Air pollution, asthma, lead poisoning, and mercury and other air toxins cause thousands of both premature births and deaths. Climate change is expected to contribute to the increase in chronic diseases such as respiratory illnesses, asthma and heart disease. To read more about how to prevent heart disease click here.
Tip#1 Do your research. Is your community committed to providing clean food, water and air? Speak out and support policies that prevent harmful environmental decisions. Contribute to and support strong environment health systems that will monitor our air, water, and food for contamination, therefore preventing possible disease.
Shifting our Mindset About Transportation
Passenger vehicles are a major contributor to air pollution. More than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides emitted into our air comes from transportation vehicles. When car exhaust releases these toxins, it threatens our health and contributes to global warming. For more information on how cars contribute to poor air quality and overall health visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (@CDCGov) page on Respiratory Health and Air Pollution.
Tip #2 Whenever possible choose walking or biking as your mode of transportation. This simple choice will contribute to a healthy community is two ways. First, you stay physically fit. It has been proven that daily exercise reduces the risk of heart disease. In addition, reducing the number of cars on the street will help reduce pollution caused by carbon monoxide. Absolutely need a vehicle? Try carpooling so you are at least helping reduce the number of cars on the road each day.
This is Nurse Lauren, contributor of NursesNOW, signing off with your Wellness Wednesday tips. To check out the other daily themes of National Public Health Week click here. Remember that caring about the environment will contribute to your overall health in many ways, keeping you (and our planet) healthy for years to come!