When it comes to healthy, nobody does it better than Saratoga—at least not in New York.
In the race to be counted among New York’s healthiest counties, Saratoga took first prize in the 2016 County Health Rankings, beating out 61 competitors across the state in the “health outcomes” category. The annual report, carried out by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, considered five points related to length and quality of life, as well as 30 “health factors,” including water quality, crime, smoking and even long commutes.
The title comes as no surprise to Susan Halstead, chair of the Saratoga County Chamber’s Health and Wellness Council, which heads up the #healthysaratoga movement. She credits the men and women who live and work in Saratoga with the win, as well as their commitment to getting healthy and happy: “We want to applaud everyone in our community that has done something positive in their jobs or in their personal lives to make our county and themselves healthier.”
In addition to sponsoring a health and wellness week each January, complete with health expos, info sessions and “give it a try” events, the council works year-round to educate Saratoga County residents and employees about the countless factors that impact wellness. Because there’s much more to being healthy than just eating right. It’s taking care of your body’s needs—inside and out—as well as your mind. Which is why council-sponsored programming explores everything from nutrition to meditation.
Following the big win, Halstead is already looking ahead, her eyes trained on a national title: “We hope to expand the #healthysaratoga movement and to inspire even more people and companies to set and achieve health and wellness goals so that Saratoga County will become one of the healthiest places to live and work in all of the country.”
The County Health Rankings aim to provide a better understanding of what impacts our health day-to-day, as well as over our lifetime, but are also intended to help communities identify areas for improvement—and ideally take action. Case-in-point: Saratoga.
This year’s report shows that Saratoga County is on an upswing when it comes to living better, and living longer. After taking fifth place in 2013 and 2014, Saratoga came in third last year.
Interested in learning more about #healthysaratoga? Check out the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce for detailed information, as well as planned events.