Have you every been miserable? I mean really miserable?
A job that just doesn’t suit you? In a one-sided relationship? Some sort of physical ailment that has taken the pep out of your step? A toothache?
There’s health, which looks at the body as a system, from the head to toe, finding and preventing diseases, treating sickness and conditions. But then there’s well-being, which takes into account where you feel you are in life, your emotion health, the place where you work, your physical health, the behaviors that are beneficial or detrimental to our health, and access to your basic health and nutrition needs.
So where would you rank yourself for well-being? On a scale of 100?
If you lived in the Charleston Metropolitan Area, about 60.8. That wold be a failing grade in any class. It’s also the lowest score of any metropolitan area nationwide in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index based on answers to questions from the criteria above. And if you just want to shrug it off as a “bad day” for the responders in Charleston, understand that this is information being tracked since 2008. Tracked daily, in fact.
With its 60.8 rating, Charleston knocked the Huntington-Ashland, Ky., Area out of the bottom ranking nationwide. But that West Virginia metropolitan area still ranks rather low, second from the bottom, with a score of 61.2. So two of West Virginia’s largest cities are, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the two lowest scoring areas for overall well-being.
So how does that reflect for the state as a whole. How well are we? How fit are we, emotionally, mentally and physically? And better yet, how do we fix it? We could sit and bemoan our circumstances and blame a variety of of reasons why we don’t rank as high as Lincoln, Neb., which scored highest on the index with a 72.8 percent rating. Or we could roll up our sleeves and figure out how to focus on wellness for the body and soul.
And how is that possible? We asked our readers to weigh in on he question in our online poll, which can be found each week at www.timeswv.com. Last week we asked what should be a priority in our battle to get “well.” And here’s what you had to say:
• Put more funds into anti-tobacco campaigns — 5.45 percent.
• A focus on obesity and diabetes prevention — 21.82 percent.
• More and better access to health care for all citizens — 25.45 percent.
• Education is key — start in the school systems with nutrition, physical education and health — 47.27 percent.
Well, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And it’s much cheaper, too, to start at such a young age establishing the kind of habits a person can take through their lives. As my mother used to always say, begin as you mean to go on. And it’s true with almost every every situation, especially teaching children the value of good health, hygiene, nutrition and exercise.
This week, let’s talk about education again — teaching handwriting and cursive. With a nationwide movement toward more keyboarding lessons in place of cursive instruction, where do you stand on the issue?
Log on. Email me or respond online.
Have you every been miserable? I mean really miserable?
COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay
Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.
The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings
During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
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