Our collective wellness in Colorado is intimately interwoven with the state of our natural resources. Holidays are a time for recreation in Colorado. The Oxford English Dictionary defines recreation as “the process or means of refreshing or entertaining oneself” or “a pleasurable activity.” Much of what people find enjoyable in Colorado involves physical activity in the outdoors.

Outdoor activity is not only good for our health it is a huge boom for the Colorado economy and job sectors. Research conducted by Southwick Associates for Colorado Parks and Wildlife was summarized in a report this October concerning the 2017 outdoor recreation industry. This report estimated the contribution of outdoor recreational activity in Colorado in 2017 was $62 billion dollars and 511,000 jobs.

Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said, “The health of individuals depends on all sectors working together to promote policies and activities that support health. From jobs that provide a living wage and health insurance, to zoning and land use planning that creates healthy neighborhoods and areas for recreation, health is everybody’s business.”

The CDPHE commented about a recent United Health Foundation annual report stating Colorado is ranked as the least obese state with the lowest prevalence for diabetes, second in physical activity, second lowest cancer and cardiovascular deaths, and the second lowest percentage of kids living in poverty. This annual report utilizes 35 parameters including policy, behaviors, community and environment, outcomes data, and clinical care. Overall Colorado is ranked the 7th healthiest state in the country. Our health and economy is tied to that of our environment. Keep up the good work! May your holidays be refreshing!

Eric Chatt N.D.

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