Healthy Living Initiatives

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The majority of the information on these policy pages are from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Community Health Boards Guide to Implementing and Evaluation Interventions.  A complete copy of the document is available here.

A comprehensive wellness initiative is a thoughtful approach to making our environment, policies, systems and programs support positive lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, healthy eating, no tobacco exposure and low stress.

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Approaches to policy change may include laws, ordinances, resolutions, mandates, regulations, or rules (both formal and informal). Examples are laws and regulations that restrict smoking on company grounds and organizational rules that provide time off during work hours for physical activity or require healthy items in vending machines.

Approaches to environmental changes involve physical or material changes to the economic, social, or physical environment. Examples include improving the environment of stairwells to entice people to utilize stairs versus elevators or implementing tobacco-free grounds policies to eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke. 

Approaches to system changes include those that impact all elements of an organization, institution, or system; they may include a policy or environmental change strategy. An example includes a worksite implementing a healthy catering/meeting policy in all locations where the organization provides food for functions healthy options must be included.

Understanding the role of Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change in efforts to change health behavior is illustrated in the Spectrum of Prevention. This is a method for identifying the multiple levels of intervention; it encourages people to move beyond the perception that prevention is only about educating individuals on healthy behaviors. You can read more about the Spectrum of Prevention by visiting the Prevention Institute’s website.

You can advocate for policy, systems, and environmental change by staying abreast of what is happening at the federal, state and local levels.  Learn who represents you and use your voice to advocate for a healthier Minnesota!

[Wellness works policy systemts and environmental change guidelines]

Get Involved with these Healthy Living Initiatives!

Active Living by Design Active Living by Design - founded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Active Living By Design has a vision of healthy communities where routine physical activity and healthy eating are accessible, easy and affordable to everyone.
Active Living Rochester Active Living Rochester - works to create a community that promotes a culture of active living in diverse and comprehensive ways-where walking, biking and transit are safe, preferred options for residents. Active Living Rochester is a partnership that includes CardioVision 2020/Mayo Clinic, Rochester Public Works, Olmsted County Public Health and Rochester-Olmsted Planning.
American Society for Nutrition
American Society for Nutrition - organization whose goal is to develop and extend knowledge of nutrition of all species through fundamental, multidisciplinary, and clinical research; facilitate contact among investigators in nutrition, medicine and related fields of interest, etc.
Association of Nutrition Services Agencies Association of Nutrition Services Agencies - leading international association of food and nutrition services providers that strengthens the capacity of our members, advocates for public policies that promote the impact of good nutrition on health, and expands resources for the field.
Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota - a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide leadership and a unified voice for bicycle education, advocacy and efforts to make Minnesota more bicycle friendly so that more people will ride bicycles more often.
Bridge to Benefits
Bridge to Benefits - a multi-state project by Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota to improve the well-being of low-income families and individuals by linking them to public work support programs and tax credits.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Collaborating to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.
Food Facts - dedicated to providing objective information about nutrition facts, food ingredients, and food products; unbiased, unfiltered and independently researched and verified.
Let's Move
Let's Move - Let’s Move! has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within one generation.
Minnesota Health Information
Minnesota Health Information - clearinghouse of health care information, whether you want to compare certain providers, learn how to be a wise health care consumer, or better manage your personal health.
Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee - serving as an advisory committee to the Rochester-Olmsted Council of Governments (ROCOG) Policy Board since June 2006.  It provides advisory on issues related to bicycle and pedestrian needs in Rochester and Olmsted County and to work with the Policy Board on the implementation of recommendations contained in the ROCOG 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan related to non-motorized travel. 
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Conference of State Legislatures
Walking Info
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) - national clearinghouse for information about health and safety, engineering, advocacy, education, enforcement, access, and mobility for pedestrians (including transit users) and bicyclists.
Share the Road
Share the Road - progam focused on eliminating deaths and reducing injuries due to bicycle-motor vehicle collisions. An initiative of Mn/DOT and the SNTC, Share the Road is based on the recognition that bicyclists and motorists are equally responsible for bicycle safety.
The LunchBox
The Lunch Box - a web-based portal that enables all schools and school districts to make a healthy difference for all children in America by providing relevant information and the pragmatic tools necessary to make good food available for all kids.