Enabling Healthy Living

Where we live plays a major role in our health. Community conditions can enhance or create barriers to health. Communities that are safe and provide opportunities for active living and healthy eating are needed to support people in developing and maintaining healthy lifestyles.

Goal Highlights

Creating Healthy Communities Indicators

Nearly one out of five Californians live in poverty.1

Poverty affects the ability to live a healthy life by limiting access to the basic necessities of housing, food, education, jobs, healthcare, and transportation. Low-income persons frequently live in under-resourced neighborhoods and are often exposed to unfavorable conditions that affect health across the life course. Children in poor families are at greater risk of growing up in environments that are harmful to their development, health, and prospects for a high-quality education. Poverty is associated with societal exclusion and higher prevalence of mental illness. People experiencing poverty are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, acute and chronic stress, and to die prematurely.2
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A stable job with fair pay leads to better health.1

Stable employment allows people to afford the goods and services that are necessary to meet basic needs and wellbeing. Economic opportunity, especially having a job, is one the most powerful predictors of good health.2 Unemployment, especially for people in or near poverty, is associated with higher rates of stress-related illnesses and increased mortality. 3,4 These negative health outcomes affect not only the unemployed persons but can extend to their families. Longer unemployment can increase risk of these negative health effects.3
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Access to affordable and sufficient food is important for an active, healthy life.

Where we live has a major impact on our overall health status and wellness.1 Food security is defined as stable access to sufficient, affordable food for an active, healthy life.

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Safe streets make communities healthier

Increasing the amount of walking trips an individual makes can improve physical activity and fitness outcomes.2 Neighborhoods and workplaces should have the infrastructure to support those activities.

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Make our communities healthy and violence-freee

Community members cannot thrive or enjoy good health unless they are safe. Violence is a public health issue. Violence and fear of violence increase the risk of poor health outcomes and also undermine the community supports and conditions that would otherwise promote health and well-being.

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