The holiday season is upon us. For some that means festive decorations, sweet treats, and family traditions. For others, this time of year brings a lot of stress and frustration. While the holiday season is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy with friends and family, it can be stressful. Chronic stress can lead to negative health outcomes, like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Speaking of high blood pressure, did you know that the guideline for high blood pressure changed in November? The new standard sets the guideline for high blood pressure at 130/80 instead of 140/90. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about the new guideline. Not sure about your blood pressure numbers? Check out the American Heart Association’s Check. Change. Control. Tracker to check your numbers at home and be in control of your blood pressure.
Managing your stress and taking care of your health is important all through the year, but it is especially important during the holiday season. Besides, stress management and living well can be fun! Take advantage of one of the Allegheny County parks and de-stress while ice skating at North Park or skiing at Boyce Park. Click here for other tips on managing stress
Do you have an event coming up? Please let us know so we can add it to the Live Well Allegheny event calendar. Contact Marie Fontelo (Marie.Fontelo@AlleghenyCounty.us) with details. Please check the partner resources page of the web site for additional resources.
Karen Hacker, MD, MPH
Director, Allegheny County Health Department
Thank you to all of the attendees who came to the Complete Streets Workshop hosted with CONNECT! Over 80 attendees came out to learn about Complete Street policies, including information on the basics and benefits of Complete Streets, funding opportunities, and policy development.
Not able to make it to the event? Check out the event materials below!
Our friends at the Traffic Safety Education Project have some tips on how to travel safely during the holiday season! Get all the details in the December Live Well Story!
Interested in highlighting a health initiative in your organization? Please reach out to Kristen Rodack (Kristen.Rodack@AlleghenyCounty.us)
Do you have high blood pressure? Do you know someone who does? Sign up for Healthy BP for All! By participating in the free program you’ll learn how to check, change, and control your blood pressure.
Is your organization interested in completing a bicycle infrastructure project? Check out the PeopleForBikes Grant Program for a funding opportunity! The online grant application opens on Dec. 11th.
Join the American Heart Association for their Targeting Blood Pressure Symposium on Jan. 30th! This empowering symposium joins community and provider forces to target blood pressure in our region.
The Allegheny County Health Department, in collaboration with the PA Department of Transportation, is offering free traffic safety presentations for elementary students. The informational program, titled “Road Rules,” gives children the skills and information needed to be safe pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, and vehicle passengers.
For more information, contact Nicole Barnett (Nicole.Barnett@AlleghenyCounty.US) or Bryanna McDaniel (Bryanna.McDaniel@AlleghenyCounty.US).
The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is holding four community conversations about men’s health. Based on available data, men in Allegheny County are more likely to experience opioid overdoses, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. To better understand these disparities, ACHD has begun to hold community conversations with males over the age of 18. The meetings are free of charge and will provide a safe space to voice health concerns and interests.
What’s Happening in Public Health
In November, health officials published new guidelines for high blood pressure, or hypertension. A group of nine health organizations, including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, have redefined the standard, lowering the guideline for high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80.
The change in guideline means that nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts people at a higher risk for other health problems, like heart disease and stroke. The change in guideline is meant to help people take steps to control their blood pressure earlier to avoid other health risks. Talk to your doctor about your blood pressure and ways that you can take control.
Not sure about your blood pressure numbers? You can check at home! Visit https://www.ccctracker.com/aha to make sure you are in control.
Don’t miss your chance to get health care coverage for 2018! Open enrollment for Marketplace health insurance ends on December 15th. Start 2018 off right and get coverage!
This is the latest Live Well Allegheny e-update. Please find a variety of information that will be helpful to you in your efforts, and can also be shared within your own networks. As always, you can find a great deal of information on our website at: www.livewellallegheny.com including partner resources which are available here: https://livewellallegheny.com/about-us/live-well-allegheny-participants/partner-materials/.
We now have 49 communities, 13 school districts, 167 community partners, 41 restaurants, and 13 workplaces united in our efforts!