WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – Residents of Westchester County are among the state’s healthiest, according to a new report that studies behaviors and population trends to rank counties nationwide.
The University of Wisconsin study found Westchester number one in health behaviors, such as obesity, smoking, physical activity and teen pregnancy. In overall rankings, “County Health Rankings and Roadmaps” ranked Putnam County number one and Westchester County number seven.
“The ‘County Health Rankings’ confirm the critical role that factors such as education, jobs, income and environment play in how healthy people are and how long they live,” says the project website.
Sherlita Amler, commissioner of health, said it was encouraging to see the county ranked first in health.
“It means residents are not just getting the message that it’s important to quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight and exercise, but that they’re actually doing something about it,” she said in a press release.
Other recently released studies point to education as a factor in personal health and symptoms of depression. A study released in March by the American Journal of Public Health found that, “Attaining at least a bachelor's degree after 25 years of age is associated with better midlife health,” and recommended “other specifications of educational timing and its health effects across the life course should be studied.”
Westchester County has a bachelor’s degree attainment of more than 12 points above the New York average.
“There is always room to improve,’’ Amler said in the same release. “Talk with your doctor and make small changes to better your health so you can reduce your risk for heart disease — the county’s number one killer — diabetes, stroke and other preventable diseases.”