How Are We Doing with that Most Personal of All Environments: Our Own Bodies?
Most of us work hard to improve our local environments—we recycle, upcycle, and skip the plastic straws. We help out with roadside clean-up, trail maintenance, or planting beach grass.
We pay attention to our home environments—we eschew air fresheners, use low-VOC paint, and avoid over-fertilizing our lawns and gardens.
Yay us! But—how are we doing with that most local of all environments: Our own bodies?
Well, thanks to CAMP Rehoboth’s survey, Assessing the Health of Our Community, we know something about that.
Maintaining our own personal environments can take a couple forms: We can avoid “self-pollutants”—such as tobacco or excess alcohol—and work to improve or sustain health and well-being through diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. The survey included questions on all these topics.
What did we learn?
Most of our respondents (over 400 people!) did really well on the self-pollutants front: Just 9% had smoked cigarettes in the preceding 30 days, and only 1% had used smokeless tobacco. Only 8% had engaged in binge drinking—i.e., consumed five or more alcoholic beverages within a couple of hours.
People under 55 were the most likely to be using a self-pollutant: 18% had smoked a cigarette within the past 30 days; 8% had used smokeless tobacco; 12% reported binge drinking on at least one day.
On the healthy practices front, folks reported mixed results: While 84% reported eating a “somewhat” or “very” healthy diet, and 90% indicated they had participated in some kind of recreational physical activity (e.g., walking, gardening, running, golf) during the past month, over half—52%—described themselves as being somewhat or very overweight.
The percentage describing themselves in this way differed by gender and age: Nearly two-thirds (60%) of people age 55 or older described themselves as somewhat or very overweight, compared to less than half (40%) of those under age 55. A troubling 63% of women described themselves as somewhat or very overweight, v. 41% of men.
Many people who described themselves as being very overweight indicated that diet played a role: 42% acknowledged their diets were somewhat or very unhealthy.
How can we use these results?
One big way: to plan programs. For example, there clearly is still a need for smoking cessation programs, and for providing meeting space for recovery groups. Programs to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight by promoting physical activity and healthful diet, have a place as well. And we can also see which local resources outside CAMP Rehoboth might be beneficial so we can connect people to those services.
Thanks to those who answered our survey! It’s really valuable information.▼
Upcoming Health & Wellness Classes AND Events
Smoking Cessation This series of four free, weekly classes offers support and skills aimed at enabling your success. Next series starts Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. Registration required.
Recovery Groups Meeting space is provided for a variety of recovery groups: Alcoholics Anonymous—Sundays at 9 a.m. and Thursdays at noon; Young People’s Alcoholics Anonymous—Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m.
The Sharing Garden Learn how to create a garden that is not only a treat for your senses—but also for your taste buds! Both container and garden plot options discussed; recipes included. One-time session on Thursday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. Registration required.
Chair Aerobics A great workout to improve cardio fitness and to help with balance, coordination, and muscle strength. One-hour classes meet weekly on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. through April; cost is $10 per month (four classes). Registration here.
Tai Chi All ages and fitness levels welcome at these free sessions devoted to the practice of the ancient Chinese system of mind-body-spirit health. Classes taught by certified Tai Chi teachers; meet Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m.
Feeling Stuck and What To Do About It Got something in your life that’s getting in your way, preventing you from moving forward? This free workshop with Health & Wellness Coach Tom Chaplin might be just what you need to get “unstuck”! Wednesday, March 27, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Registration required.
Broga Yoga for men of all shapes and sizes. Classes meet every two weeks on Saturday mornings, starting at 8:30 a.m. Next class: March 16; $10 fee per class, payable at class.
Free HIV Testing Whenever you need it! Testing is available at multiple sites—and at convenient hours—in Sussex County. Contact Salvatore at CAMP Rehoboth to make an appointment.
Health & Wellness Groups
Alzheimer’s (or Other Dementia) Caregivers Support Group Caring for someone with a cognitive disorder? This group offers a safe place to discuss challenges, share information, and support one another. Professionally moderated. Next meeting March 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Parents of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Children Group Looking for a safe space where you can network with other families who are going through similar experiences raising their children? This group encourages questions, shares resources, and listens. Next meeting March 26 at 6:00 p.m.▼