C-UPHD's Wellness & Health Promotion division provides educational, supportive, and preventative programming to Champaign County residents.
In public health, wellness and health promotion focuses primarily on prevention. Our nation has the most expensive health care system in the world, but we also have the worst health outcomes for our per capita spending. The U.S. ranks last among the world's wealthier countries on measures of health outcome, quality, and efficiency.
Public health wellness and health promotion aims to transform our healthcare model so that illness is avoided before it starts, rather than treating patients after they already suffer from poor health. By promoting a healthy lifestyle, we aim to prevent or reduce chronic and infectious disease, illness, injury, and premature death. We do this by using evidence-based strategies to intervene in the environmental, structural, and cultural conditions that contribute to poor health.
Modifiable lifestyle behaviors, such as what you eat and how much you exercise, are behind most chronic illness.
The bad news is that the problem is immense. As of 2012, about half of all U.S. adults (117 million people) had one or more chronic health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. As a nation, 75% of our health care dollars go to treatment of chronic diseases. These persistent conditions are the nation's leading causes of death and disability.
The good news is that we have the ability to prevent most of the suffering caused by these illnesses. Health risk behaviors are unhealthy behaviors that you can change. Four such behaviors-lack of exercise or physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and drinking too much alcohol-cause most of the illness, suffering, and early death in our country. But because these behaviors can be modified, good health is accessible through a healthier lifestyle - getting plenty of physical activity; eating a nutritious diet composed of lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy; not using tobacco; and not drinking too much alcohol.
Our division at C-UPHD works in Champaign County to build and support lifelong healthy behaviors and lifestyles.