The Anthem Foundation is embedded in communities across the country where it supports programs that build awareness about the importance of active lifestyles and healthy behaviors. One of the many ways we are helping to increase awareness and improve overall health is through our partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Since 2006, Anthem Foundation has granted over $1.2M to ACSM as a founding partner in an effort to establish the American Fitness Index, a tool and resource for community stakeholders to address conditions in the environments that negatively affect a person’s overall health and identifies to create healthier, more active communities.
For the second year in a row, Arlington, VA received the title of ‘Fittest City’ in America in the 2019 American Fitness Index rankings. The findings of the 2019 Fitness Index are not only a great indicator of how well communities are encouraging fitness among their residents, but also reveal how social, economic and physical conditions of health within communities directly impact the health and fitness levels of America’s largest cities.
According to Healthy People 2020, a science-based initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly everyone is impacted by conditions in the environment that negatively affect a wide range of health, functioning, quality of life outcomes and risks in one way or another. A way to look at the health of individuals and our communities starts in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods and communities. By taking a deeper look into these areas, we can understand why some Americans are healthier than others, and focus on interactions and relations to address why other Americans are not as healthy, and come up with opportunities and solutions on how to improve the problematic areas.
Part of our ongoing strategy at the Anthem Foundation is to create meaningful partnerships with organizations, targeting specific, preventable health concerns and addressing the conditions in our environments’ social determinants that can negatively impact them. Together with the ASCM and the Fitness Index, we can continue to look toward a brighter future by providing the necessary tools and resources to benefit people of all ages and backgrounds within our communities.
Author: Stephen Friedhoff, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, Anthem, Inc.