Active Living and Lakewood
Even among the vast diversity of Cuyahoga County’s various communities, the City of Lakewood stands out: with its nostalgic front porches, dense network of sidewalks, engaging destinations, diverse populations, and strong sense of community, Lakewood has gained national recognition as one of America’s best suburbs. It is a community with deep roots, uniquely typifying America’ historic inner ring suburbs, yet Lakewood is also a place that embraces innovation and reinvention.
This is also true in how Lakewood as a whole—institutions and community organizations, residents, and businesses— approaches opportunities for active living and ensuring the health of its current and future populations. With inclusive and diverse community programming, services, infrastructure, and design, Lakewood has a host of opportunities to become a beacon in healthy and active living. Communities across the country are reexamining their active living opportunities in a more comprehensive fashion in order to become healthier, more vibrant and attractive places for residents, businesses, and community institutions. This is especially salient considering our nation’s epidemic of obesity and related chronic diseases.
Although health campaigns have been fighting the ills of sedentary lifestyle and poor diet for decades, national rates of obesity and related chronic diseases have continued to rise. As of 2014, 60% of adults and 17% of children are overweight or obese. Local health data reveals equally concerning health trends. The 2014 County Health Rankings ranked Cuyahoga County 65 out of 88 Ohio counties for health outcomes, 1 with 64.6% of adults in Cuyahoga County being overweight or obese. 2 In Lakewood, the mortality rate for heart disease was 251.7 per 100,000 persons, the highest in Cuyahoga County. 3 It has become apparent that traditionally individual focused health interventions designed to combat chronic disease have not been fully effective.