ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- If you are lucky enough to be a Rockland resident, then you live in one of the healthiest counties in the state according to an annual study that looks at all of the factors that play into living a long, happy life.
Rockland, which came in second, ranked high for low tobacco use, good diet and exercise habits and employment and income in the study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
To come up with their numbers, the study looks at a variety of measures that affect the future health of communities, such as high school graduation rates, access to healthy foods, rates of smoking, obesity, air quality, teen births and more.
The study is then given to local governments and other organizations to use when planning for the future.
Some of the differences a community can make can be as small as offering stop smoking or walking classes to larger projects such as building sidewalks or making sure there are enough health care offerings.
How your local government views health also makes a difference. A government that keeps an eye on trends such as drug use, crime rates, and hunger-related problems can make a difference by targeting those issues with everything from education to increased law enforcement to making sure food banks are stocked.
They can also make a difference by keeping an eye on water quality and by making sure that residents have enough healthy outdoor spaces such as trails, pools, and tracks.
Luckily for Rockland residents, all of those efforts in one form or another are taking place, especially in the areas of community safety, education, exercise availability and healthcare access.
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