Get Healthy Utah News and Blog

January 17th 2024

Morgan Hadden Morgan is the Program Coordinator for Get Healthy Utah. She graduated from Utah State University with a B.S. and M.P.H in Health Education and Promotion. Chances are, your city or t...

January 2nd 2024

Greg Bell Greg Bell is the outgoing Get Healthy Utah Board Chair. Greg previously served as president of the Utah Hospitals Association and lieutenant governor for Utah. In 2014, a group of us cre...

November 3rd 2023

Cindy Nelson Cindy is an Extension Associate Professor in Beaver County Utah with responsibilities in Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H. She loves the people she serves, and the variety of progra...

October 17th 2023

Get Healthy Utah held its annual Stakeholder Retreat this October at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan. This year’s theme was “Connection: Building a Culture of Health.” Topics included the con...

September 26th 2023

Devynne Andrews, JD Devynne Andrews is the Communications Coordinator for Get Healthy Utah. Recently, the Get Healthy Utah staff attended an advance screening of UnCharitable, a documentary about...

September 5th 2023

Get Healthy Utah, in conjunction with the Utah League of Cities and Towns, is pleased to announce the newest Healthy Utah Community designees. Four cities and towns qualified this fall: Coalville, Hol...

August 4th 2023

Dr. Amy Locke Amy Locke is the Chief Wellness Officer for the University of Utah Health, executive director of the University of Utah Health Resiliency Center, Professor of Family and Preventive Med...

July 31st 2023

Elisa Soulier Elisa Soulier is the Vice Chair for the Get Healthy Utah Board. She works as Director of Health and Wellbeing at Castell. She focuses on delivering more high value holistic care for pa...

July 17th 2023

Jennifer Porter and Rachel Bowman Jennifer Porter, RDN, is a Health Program Coordinator, and Rachel Bowman is a Nutrition Coordinator for the Utah WIC program. Visit wic.utah.gov to learn more. Nu...

July 11th 2023

Key Takeaways: “Green streets” have more plants, soil, and water-friendly systems than traditional streets Originally, green streets were designed to capture rainwater locally Green streets al...

Cover for Utah Foundation Report

June 28th 2023

The Utah Foundation recently released a report, Healthy Communities: Advancing Wellness and Safety, focused on policy solutions for Utah communities to increase physical activity. The report is meant...

June 9th 2023

Get Healthy Utah held its annual Advisory Council this May. We want to thank everyone who attended and shared their ideas on how we can improve healthy eating and active living in Utah through system-...

Two adults and two kids doing pottery.

May 16th 2023

Key Takeaways: Utahns are in a mental health crisis and need the healing and social connection that arts and culture can deliver. The arts foster connection, support the healing process, and com...

Healthy Utah Community Logo

April 24th 2023

Get Healthy Utah, in conjunction with the Utah League of Cities and Towns, is pleased to announce the newest designees of the Healthy Utah Community award. Six cities and towns qualified this spring:...

Children Eating Lunch at School

April 19th 2023

Kathleen Britton Kathleen Britton, SNS has served as the Director of Child Nutrition Programs at the Utah State Board of Education, since February 2014. Ms. Britton began her nutrition work as a Die...

Kids at Recess

April 10th 2023

Kimberly Clevenger Kimberly Clevenger is an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Health Science at Utah State University, with a background in exercise physiology. Her research interests are in th...

School child with healthy school lunch

March 25th 2023

Greg Bell Greg Bell is the Get Healthy Utah Board Chair. Greg is president of the Utah Hospitals Association, and previously served as lieutenant governor for Utah. Recent research in Great Britai...

February 27th 2023

This February, Get Healthy Utah and the Utah Worksite Wellness Council held the Utah Business of Health event, with the theme “Good Health is Good Business.” Leaders from Utah businesses and insurance...

October 28th 2022

Get Healthy Utah held its annual Stakeholder Retreat this October in Salt Lake City, with the theme “Building Healthier Communities.” A variety of leaders attended to learn more about their common...

August 3rd 2022

Organization: Get Healthy Utah Contact: Alysia Ducuara, Executive Director Location: 2180 S 1300 E, Suite 440, Salt Lake City, UT 84106 Program Details: The mission of Get Healthy Utah is to c...

July 14th 2022

In June 2022, Get Healthy Utah offered mini-grants to cities and towns that want to provide their citizens with better opportunities for healthy living. Cities and towns could apply for up to $5,000 t...

October 13th 2021

Each year, Get Healthy Utah gives Partnership Awards to organizations that have collaborated across sectors to significantly improve community health. This year at the Fall 2021 Get Healthy Utah Stake...

October 13th 2021

The Fall 2021 Get Healthy Utah Stakeholder Retreat was held in-person on October 7th in Salt Lake City. Attendees represented various sectors that have an upstream impact on community health, such as...

August 1st 2021

On June 30, 2021, Get Healthy Utah held a virtual information session on type 2 diabetes, the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), and the importance of Medicaid coverage. During the i...

June 2nd 2021

The Annual Get Healthy Utah Stakeholder Retreat was held virtually on May 5, 2021. The event focused on the One Utah Roadmap. Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson provided the keynote address. The closing s...

March 10th 2021

What is a wellness policy? A wellness policy creates a safe and healthy environment for students and staff to practice lifelong healthy habits. The school community (which includes parents, students...

November 3rd 2020

Social and economic conditions where we live, work, and play can impact our health status. These include income, affordable housing, safe places to walk, healthy food access, discrimination, and healt...

August 20th 2020

Get Healthy Utah is proud to have partnered with Comagine Health, Intermountain Healthcare, Utah Department of Health, and University of Utah Health to host the free virtual summit for worksites Impro...

August 4th 2020

Jeff Hummel, MD, MPH Medical Director, Health Care Informatics, Comagine Health Meredith Agen, MBA Vice President, Health Care Analytics, Comagine Health The COVID-19 pandemic has seemed both distan...

June 20th 2020

Guest Post by Brett McIff Brett McIff, PhD is the Physical Activity Coordinator for the EPICC Program at the Utah Department of Health. His research has focused on the perception of the built envir...

April 21st 2020

Rural communities often have poorer health outcomes than non-rural communities. This is due, in part, to barriers to accessing healthy food, opportunities for physical activity, and mental health reso...

April 15th 2020

A new, and timely, report from the Utah Foundation examines trends and challenges related to teleworking. Findings include: Teleworking seems to have a positive effect on productivity and employee...

March 24th 2020

Gyms, recreational facilities, schools, and extracurricular activities are cancelled. While we are all doing our part to stay home and maintain proper social distancing, it is important to be physical...

March 18th 2020

To help in preventing the spread of COVID-19, Utah schools are dismissed for a soft closure until March 27th. What does this mean for school meals? On average, 50% of Utah K-12 students participat...

February 20th 2020

Guest Blog Post By, Kate Wheeler, Child Nutrition Specialist, Utah State Board of Education Kate works on farm to fork and local procurement initiatives. Kate has an MPH from Emory University. Prior...

January 14th 2020

The Utah State Board of Education has provided Best Practice for Recess Guidelines. While not mandated, the guidelines support the Utah State Board of Education’s Strategic Plan Safe and Healthy Schoo...

Remaining Physically Active While Staying Home

Gyms, recreational facilities, schools, and extracurricular activities are cancelled. While we are all doing our part to stay home and maintain proper social distancing, it is important to be physically active. Physical activity improves muscle and bone strength, reduces risk of chronic disease, helps with healthy body weight, and improves mental health. Physical activity at any level is linked to a lower risk of early death. In times of high stress, physical activity is even more important.

There can be challenges to being physically active. With gyms and recreation centers closed, many people no longer have access to exercise equipment.  Families are trying to figure out how to keep kids active who are at home all day.  People working from home may find it difficult to have the motivation and energy to be active. But, being active does not necessarily mean running on a treadmill or lifting weights. Being active can be done by incorporating physical activity throughout the day such as going for a walk, making games out of chores, and even utilizing technology.

Below find a number of resources to help keep you and your family active!

Physical Activity Resources for Adults 

American College of Sports Medicine: Staying Active During COVID-19
American Heart Association: Create a Circuit Home Workout
CBS News: Exercises While Working From Home
National Council on Aging: Encouraging Older Adults to Stay Active and Safe
National Institute on Aging: Physical Activity
NY Times: Taking Care of Yourself in Coronavirus Quarantine
University of Utah: Healthy AlternativesUS Department of HHS

Physical Activity Resources for Children

Action for Healthy Kids
Active Schools: Resources to Get Kids Moving
Alliance for a Healthier Generation: COVID-19 Resources
American Heart Association: 25 Ways to Get Moving at Home
BOKS Kids
CATCH: Health at Home
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Go Noodle
Playworks; Game Archive
Shape America
Walkabouts

Physical Activity Resources for Families

American Heart Association: How to Move More Anytime Anywhere
American Heart Association: Physical Activity Around the House
Fit Sanford: 5Ways to Incorporate Physical Activity
TrailLink: Find a Trail
USDA: Physical Activity
YMCA 360

For up-to-date Utah information visit:  Coronavirus.utah.gov

Healthy Habits While Working From Home

A new, and timely, report from the Utah Foundation examines trends and challenges related to teleworking. Findings include:

  • Teleworking seems to have a positive effect on productivity and employee retention, as well as lowering absenteeism.
  • There are significant potential financial benefits for employers beyond increased productivity.
  • There are concerns about telework; research suggests that two-thirds of teleworkers are not engaged in their work, and more than one-third get no direct contact with their teams.

As a result of COVID-19, many people are adjusting to working from home, at least temporarily. While teleworking may have some benefits, it takes time and patience to figure out how to make working from home a success. You may find yourself moving your workspace from your kitchen counter to your couch, squeezing in a homeschool lesson, or making frequent trips to the fridge. Adjusting to a new normal can be difficult, especially when traditional schedules are almost nonexistent.  It is important to stay healthy by making time to be physically active, eating healthy, and paying attention to your mental health.

Physical Activity

Physical activity improves physical and mental health. Staying active keeps you healthy and can help you take care of others.

  • Develop a workout routine. Set aside at least 30 minutes a day to go for a walk or bike ride, do a workout video, or do any other type of physical activity that you enjoy.
  • Workout with your kids. Kids need to be active too! Being active with your kids helps them know the importance of physical activity and provides something fun to do together.
  • Stand up and stretch! Sitting for long periods of time can reduce productivity and put strain on your back and neck. Make sure you stand up and stretch throughout the day.

Healthy Eating

Eating healthy supports your immune system and boosts your energy. Eating nutritious foods can help you feel good, be more productive, and conquer your workday!

  • Start the day right. Eat a protein-rich breakfast like oats, fruit, avocado, or eggs.
  • Eat at the table. Avoid eating where you work, which may contribute to snacking throughout the day.
  • Pack a lunch. Even though you won’t be going into the office, packing a lunch can help with portion control.
  • Stay hydrated! Drinking water helps you feel better and reduces headaches and fatigue.
  • Find healthy snacks. Snack on healthy items like fresh fruits and vegetables or nuts.

Mental Health

It is normal to be experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety.  A simple routine can help you feel a sense of normalcy and provide some social interaction.

  • Get ready for the day. Getting dressed can help you feel ready to work and be more productive.
  • Make a plan. Create a schedule and list of tasks you want to accomplish each day. Be sure and allow yourself flexibility.
  • Create a dedicated workspace. If you can, it helps to create a dedicated workspace. It doesn’t have to be a fancy home office, a spot on the kitchen table or a folding table in the living room can work.
  • Get social interaction. Social interaction is important to your mental health. Call and video chat with co-workers. Even though we need to practice social distancing, we can still interact virtually.
  • Sleep! Try and go to bed at the same time you would have before working from home. A good night’s sleep helps your body relax and prepare for the next day.

Tips for Employers

Are you worried about how you can support employee wellness when experiencing budget cuts and employees are working from home? You don’t have to do it alone! The Utah Department of Health and local health departments offer free resources, services, and technical service to help your organization become the best it can be.  You can also find resources from the Utah Worksite Wellness Council. Make sure and communicate with employees often via email, webinars, conference calls, social media, and newsletters in order to provide support, encouragement, and resources for employee wellness. Remember to share and educate on what your employee assistance program and health plan already offers.

Active Living

Offer virtual challenges
Share online exercise classes and apps
Encourage working out with the family
Share walking and biking trails
Share transportation services
Encourage going for a walk when taking calls
Support the National Diabetes Prevention Program

Healthy Eating

Encourage preventative care
Provide healthy recipes
Share information about local food pantries
Educate on nutrition assistance programs
Provide local farmers markets information
Share information on local community gardens

Mental Health Resources

Educate on mental health resources
Check-in with employees
Offer flexible work schedules
Consider offering paid mental health days
Share suicide prevention resourcesShare mindfulness apps

We encourage employers to message with values. Individuals want to be healthy, be there for the ones they love, and live a high quality of life. Click HERE for free messaging materials to help communicate with individuals on the importance of healthy lifestyles.

Resources:

Utah Public Health Association: Stay Healthy
Bloomberg News: Tips from Experts
Simple Stretches You Should Be Doing While Working from Home
Utah Foundation Teleworking Report

Rural Health Association of Utah Annual Conference Webinar

Rural communities often have poorer health outcomes than non-rural communities. This is due, in part, to barriers to accessing healthy food, opportunities for physical activity, and mental health resources. The Rural Health Association of Utah works to address these barriers and provide a unified voice to promote and enhance the quality of rural health in Utah.

Get Healthy Utah was proud to sponsor the Rural Health Association of Utah’s Annual Conference which was held virtually on April 10, 2020. Experts in a variety of fields from across the state came together virtually to discuss health issues and provide on-the ground examples and strategies for working together to enhance the well-being of rural Utahans.

Conversations ranged from the National Diabetes Prevention ProgramPark Rx, and suicide prevention to equity and collaborative partnerships. Over 400 attendees joined the live broadcasts and many of the sessions had over 100 attendees.

Thank you to the Rural Health Association of Utah for providing an opportunity to get together, learn, and share during this challenging time!

Rural Health Association of Utah Webinar Sessions (click on the session title to view the recorded webinar)

Opioid Use Disorder

Panelists:Ashley Yaugher-Utah State UniversityKasey Shakespear-Utah Rural Opioid Healthcare ConsortiumSuzanne Prevedel-Utah State UniversityMaren Voss-Utah State University Extension

Diabetes Prevention

Panelists:Sarah Woolsey, MD, Comagine HealthShauna Nordgren, LPN, National DPP CoachRachel Kramer, Solera HealthShelly Sanderson, NP, Enterprise Valley Medical ClinicMallory Spendlove, Utah Public Health Department

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Panelists:Laura Summers, Kem C. Gardner Policy InstituteLauren Prest, MD, Moab Regional HospitalMike Austin, Utah State University ExtensionLori Wright, Family Healthcare

Outdoor/Park Rx

Panelists:Sarah Hodson, Get Healthy UtahJesse Spencer, MD, Intermountain Healthcare Medical GroupSarah Kinnison, Salt Lake County Health Department

Mental Health

Panelists:Charles Smith, Substance Abuse and Mental Health ServicesPaula Dunham, Green River Medical CenterAshley Heaton, Kane Community Coalition CoordinatorTad Draper, Wayne Community Health CenterJanelle Robinson, University Neuropsychiatric Institute

Oncology

Panelists:Derrick Haslem, MD, Oncology, Intermountain HealthcareKen Grossman, MD, PhD, Huntsman Cancer InstituteGarret Harding, Huntsman Cancer Institute

Suicide Prevention

Panelists:Amy Mikkleson, Utah Department of HealthRobin Hatch, Northeastern Counseling Center Suicide PreventionJesse Spencer, MD, Intermountain Healthcare Medical GroupTeresa Willie, Utah Prevention Coalition Association

Equity and Inclusion

Panelists:Mike Nelson, Dixie State UniversityMichelle Chapoose, LSUDC, Tribal Opioid Resource CenterAmber Rich, Intermountain HealthcareEmilia Brown, Association for Utah Community Health

Working Together for Community Well-being

Panelists:Christina Mead, US Department of Health and Human ServicesJordan Merrill, Intermountain HealthcareTeresa Willie, Utah Prevention Coalition AssociationSarah Hodson, Get Healthy Utah

Learn More:Rural Health Association of UtahRural Health Association of Utah Facebook

Pavement for Prevention

Guest Post by Brett McIff

Brett McIff, PhD is the Physical Activity Coordinator for the EPICC Program at the Utah Department of Health.  His research has focused on the perception of the built environment as it pertains to physical activity levels. Find out more about the EPICC Program at www.choosehealth.utah.gov.

Next time you hop in your car to run to the store or drive your child to school, take a moment to think about how things have changed over the past several decades: rates of children walking to school have dropped from 48% in 1969 to 13% in 2009, while more than 85% of adults drive to work every day. As Utah’s demographics, shopping habits, and type of work have evolved, the way we move within our communities has changed as well.

Active transportation is any type of movement that gets you from location to location using your own body as the primary means of locomotion.  Whatever your preference, walking, cycling, even rollerblading–if you are having a flashback to the ‘90’s–all count as forms of active transport.  However, consider how we have engineered ourselves into this current car-focused environment. Schools and workplaces are not always convenient to get to, and in many cases can be quite far away.  Even online shopping puts more vehicles on the road, congesting Utah freeways and streets. All of this engineering, deliberate or otherwise, has an impact on our health.  Heart disease, strokes, diabetes, even certain types of cancer are directly related to the amount of physical activity we do.  As we have decided on the way we want our communities to look, we have inadvertently decided how long we are able to live.

Utah’s public health agencies, healthcare organizations, transportation planning agencies, and elected officials are working together to make activedrive to work 300x213 transportation both an easy choice, and a healthy choice.  We are focusing on better street connectivity, protecting pedestrians and cyclists through dedicated paths, and improving the policy environment to better support these behaviors. By doing this, we are not only making our cities more connected by bringing people out of their shells (specifically their cars) but are supporting healthier lifestyles resulting in better quality of life. So, next time as you climb into your car, consider what it would take to change the way you move. Whatever you decide to do, Utah is working together to make it healthier and easier.