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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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During National Public Health Week, Yield Yourself a Healthy ROI

By Florida Department of Health, Chief of Staff

March 25, 2013

Blog Post from DOH's Chief of Staff

In my 20 years at the Florida Department of Health (DOH), I have seen firsthand how essential public health systems are in ensuring that Floridians preserve and improve their health to enjoy longer, more fulfilled lives.

National Public Health Week (NPHW) is a time to recognize public health's impact on the Florida family experience. From birth through life, public health supports your newborn's welcome into the world, protects your favorite restaurant's food, and preserves your family's sun (and sunscreen) filled beach days.

This year's NPHW theme “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money” zeros in on the two common threads of public health and prevention. The concept of Return on Investment, or ROI, may sound seemingly out of place in conversations about health, but I like to think of it this way: A family is like an investment.

Much like a financial investment, a family requires a long-term commitment of time, money, balance, dedication and consistency to yield a rewarding gain. The health of the key players involved has an instrumental impact on outcomes, and adopting healthy behaviors is the most proactive way to achieve favorable ‘dividends.'

Healthy behaviors include eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting routine medical screenings and avoiding tobacco. Incorporating these habits into your routine may sound like more work now, but will ultimately help you avoid costly conditions and establish a sustainable lifestyle that will yield the revenue of a feel-better, look-better, last-longer you.

The influences these individual behavior changes can have on the community are resounding. For example, for every 1 percent decline in Florida's smoking rate, the state can save $1.3 billion in health care costs alone. These community efforts, when combined, can greatly enhance our future's outlook. If body mass indexes, or BMIs, lowered just 5 percent, Florida could save more than $12 billion in health costs by 2020.

A healthy amount of ROI in your life brings you more–more birthdays to count your blessings, more family game nights to revel in a ‘win,' and more genuine quality time with those you care most about. In general, more life.

Every day is a new opportunity to invest in your health. Sign up for that gym membership. Order that salad. Go to that doctors' appointment. Throw out those cigarettes. Adopt habits that will give you the happy, healthy and long life you deserve.

Together, we can continue to view health as the gateway for making Florida the healthiest state in the nation and the best place to live, work and play.