Tag Archives: u s department of health and human services

Leading Health Indicators Show Improvement – HHS

Must confess that I have heard of the leading economic indicators, but never the leading health ones. The Dept of HHS is a good source, however. This seems a pleasant surprise in terms of results.

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Leading Health Indicators: Progress Update, which shows that we are making progress in more than half of the 26 Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators (LHIs).

progress-map
There are 14 health indicators that have either been met or are improving in this first third of the decade, including:
• Fewer adults smoking cigarettes
• Fewer children exposed to secondhand smoke
• More adults meeting physical activity targets
• Fewer adolescents using alcohol or drugs
(My emphasis: I consider smoking to be a horrible killer and crippler of humans. The fact that fewer adults are doing it and fewer children are exposed to second hand smoke is wonderful positive news. You can read my Page –  How Bad is Smoking? for more info.)

As of March 2014, progress generally has been positive toward achieving the HP2020 targets for the 26 LHIs, with 14 indicators (53.9%) having either met their target or shown improvement:

• 4 indicators (15.4%) have met or exceeded their HP2020 targets.
• 10 indicators (38.5%) are improving.
• 8 indicators (30.8%) show little or no detectable change.
• 3 indicators (11.5%) are getting worse.
• 1 indicator (3.8%) has only baseline data.

The LHIs are a subset of Healthy People 2020 objectives, which communicate high-priority health issues known to have a major influence in reducing preventable disease and death. These indicators are used to assess the health of the Nation, facilitate collaboration across sectors, and motivate action at the national, State, and community levels to improve the health of the U.S. population.

While progress has been made across several indicators, the LHI Progress Update highlights areas where further work is needed to improve the health of all Americans.

You can see the progress made within each of the 26 leading health indicators.

Tony

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Filed under alcohol, Exercise, Leading Health Indicators, smoking, Weight

What are the Guidelines for Exercising?

Regular readers know that I advocate regular exercise here on the blog. I am happy to report that the government is in agreement.

All adults should avoid inactivity, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.

For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (five hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount.

Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

Tony

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Filed under aging, Exercise, Weight