A Letter From Our Director
Greetings from the Director’s Office,
As we turn the corner and begin the new year, the days are growing longer—bringing about two more minutes of daylight each day. And as the pandemic continues with no clear end in sight, it is important for everyone to find ways to re-energize.
I like to re-charge by walking, biking, and gardening, but when I can’t find time or the weather doesn’t cooperate, I sneak in the NY Times 7-min standing workout (The Standing 7-Minute Workout – The New York Times (nytimes.com). I follow this video between meetings on busy days; no special equipment needed—just a table, chair and wall.
The data are clear—even small amounts of physical activity improve health and well-being. So, I encourage you to incorporate movement into your day, even if for only a few minutes. Take the time to stretch your muscles and rest your eyes (especially if you use a computer all day, as many of us do). Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand at your desk for a few minutes. Check out the link in the newsletter to DeskFit – 20 exercises you can do at your desk – and try a few today.
Sadly, the pandemic has sapped many people of the energy to move forward. If you have fallen into thinking that because you can’t do everything, it’s better to do nothing, please think again. Something is always better than nothing. Start small and take baby steps towards improving your mental and physical health.
Finally, as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 17 this year, I recall his words from one of his many inspirational speeches, this one at Spelman College in 1960:
“Always feel that you count, always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.
“Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be the sun, be a star, for it isn’t by size that you win or you fail—be the best at whatever you are.
“We must keep moving. We must keep going. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl.
“But by all means, keep moving.”
Please stay safe and be kind.
Dr. Debra Bogen
Director, Allegheny County Health Department
Glaucoma Awareness Month
Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States—especially for older adults and African Americans. For more information on how to talk to your doctor about glaucoma view this fact sheet from the National Eye Institute (nih.gov).
Cervical Health Awareness
More than 14,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year. The good news is the disease is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening. For more information visit the CDC’s Cervical Cancer Awareness page.
Allegheny County Health Department Updates
Allegheny County Health Department: COVID-19 Vaccination Report
In December 2021, ACHD published a new vaccine report. The vaccine report includes information on breakthrough infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.
See the full report here.
Live Well, Be Well
Six Tips to Enhance Immunity
- Eat Well
- Be Physically Active
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Get Enough Sleep
- Quit Smoking
- Avoid Too Much Alcohol
For more information view the CDC’s article on enhancing immunity.
Join the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s) Keep it Moving Challenge Today!
Join the APHA Keep It Moving Challenge in the months leading up to National Public Health Week April 4-10, 2022. The challenge officially kicks off on New Year’s Day Saturday, January 1 at 12:01 a.m. ET and ends on Sunday April 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Attendees use their own Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin or movement trackers integrated on their iPhone/Android smartphone via Apple Health or Google Fit. To join today download the app on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
DeskFit: 20 Essential Desk Exercises You Can Do Without Leaving Your Office
Looking to add more activity to your 2022 routine? With DeskFit exercises you can get some exercises in without leaving your desk! NASA has provided a toolkit filled with 20 exercises which can be accessed here.
Millvale Community Library’s “free fridge” offers fresh food to the community
Located behind the Millvale Community Library (213 Grant Avenue, Millvale, PA 15209), the service provides fresh food to families in need.
Free Produce at Pop-up Farmers Markets
The American Heart Association is working with ten local partners to host free pop-up farmers markets this winter. All are welcome to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables. The markets take place at the following times and locations through March:
- East Liberty- Second and fourth Thursday of the month, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at St. James AME Church
- Uptown- First and third Tuesday of the month, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Amplify Church
- Homewood – Second and Fourth Thursday of the month, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Project Oasis, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at House of Manna
- Millvale – Second and Fourth Tuesday of the month, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Millvale Community Development Center
- North Side – First and Third Tuesday of the month, 11 a.m. at Project Destiny
Live Well Allegheny Story
Active People, Healthy NationSM
Nationally, only one in four adults meet national standards for combined aerobic and muscle strengthening. Active People, Healthy NationSM is a national initiative led by the CDC to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. To reach this goal, communities can implement evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity. Active People, Healthy NationSM is focusing on the following strategies:
- Activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations
- Access to places for physical activity
- School and youth programs
- Community-wide campaigns
- Social supports
- Individual supports
- Prompts to encourage physical activity
- Equitable and Inclusive Access
Live Well Allegheny strives to provide resources on increasing physical activity in our communities. To find local resources near you, check out our Live Well Allegheny Partners. For more information on the Active People, Healthy NationSM Initiative visit their website, “like” CDC Eat Well Be Active on Facebook, or join the conversation on twitter @CDC_DNPAO.