How Has COVID-19 Impacted Physical Activity for Youth?


COVID-19’s Impact on Youth Physical Activity

Loss of physical activity can harm physical, emotional, and social health. Amid COVID-19 illness and isolation, some youth and families have experienced a loss of physical activity, according to a new report from Safe Routes Partnership, “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: COVID-19’s Impact on Youth Physical Activity and Safe Routes to School.” The report explores research and expert perspectives on COVID-19’s impact on physical and emotional health to paint a holistic picture of how physical activity has changed during COVID-19. The report also has recommendations for supporting physical activity strategies and centering physical, emotional, and social health in equitable pandemic recovery plans. Our team at Salud America! was honored to contribute to this report ...

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25,000 Comments Call for Safety Reforms in a Transportation Engineering ‘Bible’


Overhaul of the MUTCD

More than 25,000 public comments were submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on proposed changes to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Our team at Salud America! developed three model comments asking FHWA to adopt a public health and Safe System Approach to reframe and rewrite the 700-page MUTCD, one of transportation engineering’s “bibles” that guides road creation. More than 2,100 people visited our model comments over 30 days and nearly 450 people submitted our model comments. “This enormous volume of comments (a more than ten-fold increase over the last time the MUTCD was updated in 2009) demonstrates the degree to which Americans want change,” according to a post from the National Association of City Transportation Officials ...

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Tell Federal Highway Administration (FHWA): Overhaul Transportation Engineering Standards to Integrate Public Health



What we engineer and build impacts public health, safety, and welfare. However, transportation engineering prioritizes convenience for people driving over safety for people walking or biking. This makes streets more dangerous for everyone, including drivers. Now is our opportunity to change all that. Public comments are wanted on revisions to one of transportation engineering’s “bibles,” the 700-page Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD). The MUTCD, which was last rewritten 50 years ago from the point of view of expediting vehicle movement, is full of assumptions, restrictions, and contradictions that hinder efforts to improve safety and create vibrant, welcoming streets. Submit one of three Salud America! model comments to tell ...

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45% Spike in People Walking Killed by People Driving, Says ‘Dangerous by Design’ Report


45% Spike in People Walking Killed by People Driving, Says 'Dangerous by Design' Report

America’s approach to road safety continues to fail, especially for pedestrians. The number of people walking who have been struck and killed by people driving grew 45% from 2010 and 2019, according to the new Dangerous by Design report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition. Why? Policymakers in cities and states across the country continue to trust unsafe street design practices that prioritize speed for people driving, enable larger vehicles, and rely on police enforcement and ineffectual education campaigns to promote safety. Experts urge federal, state, and local leaders to adjust road design to prioritize pedestrians and other forms of active travel such as bicycling, as well as quit blaming individuals and relying on police. The Most ...

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Tell CDC: Add Social Risk Codes to Better Classify Disease Diagnoses, Symptoms (ICD-10-CM)


Tell CDC: Add Social Risk Codes to Better Classify Disease Diagnoses, Symptoms (ICD-10-CM)

Social risk contributes significantly to poor health. These social risks—also known as social determinants of health—include food insecurity, housing instability, transportation insecurity, financial strain, and more. But without the right terminology about social risk, doctors and other healthcare workers may struggle to identify, support, and report patient’s social needs, which can harm health and hinder research. This is particularly problematic for Latinos and others who are overburdened by social risks. This why the Gravity Project, a coalition of experts on social risk, is recommending code changes and updates to CDC National Center for Health Statistics’ International Classification of Diseases-Clinical Modification, Tenth Revision (ICD-10-CM), which provides a ...

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Cut Toxic Stress with 3 Types of Public Health Prevention Interventions


Cut Toxic Stress with 3 Types of Public Health Prevention Interventions

To reduce the impact of a disease like diabetes, public health leaders usually apply a three-part preventive approach of prevention, early detection, and early intervention. But this preventive approach hasn’t been applied to toxic stress. Toxic stress is the body’s response to prolonged trauma─like abuse or discrimination─with no support. It can harm lifelong mental, physical, and behavioral health, especially for Latinos and others of color. Amid COVID-19, civil unrest, and an economic crisis, we need a public health prevention approach to address toxic stress now more than ever. A new roadmap can help. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’ Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health proposes a ...

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4 Reasons to Think Structuralist, Instead of Individualist, to Improve Health Equity



Every person is a unique individual. But if you look closely, you’ll see each person lives, learns, works, and plays within social and environmental conditions that influence their individual health and wealth. Some people face health barriers because of structural and systemic policies that curb their access to quality housing, transportation, medical care, food, jobs, schools, parks and other social determinants. Individuals have no choice when it comes to these structural health barriers. “Despite the tremendous, lifelong impact of our community conditions on our health, we focus most of our energy and resources on treating the outcomes of these problems but lack the essential urgency for attacking the root causes of poor health,” according to Brian C. Castrucci, Dr. ...

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Jennifer Rangel: Creating Bilingual Cartoons to Teach Zoning 101


Jennifer Rangel creates animated videos to teach residents about zoning

“Ever wondered why your neighborhood looks how it does?” Jennifer Rangel once asked herself this question. To find an answer, Rangel got a master’s degree in urban planning. Along the way, this Latina planner learned that discriminatory urban planning practices, like the zoning of land, had been used for white advantage for over a century, segregating communities and forging inequities in health and wealth among Latinos and other people of color. Rangel wanted to share what she learned. So she helped create workshops─then bilingual animated videos─to train neighborhood leaders, social workers, and others about zoning and how to get involved in zoning changes. “Understanding zoning is a critical step for residents as they try to undo previous harms and to ...

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9 Amazing Latino Contributions to Urban Space, Presented by James Rojas


James Rojas via CNU.org latino urbanism

Since James Rojas was child, he has been fascinated with urban spaces like streets, sidewalks, plazas, storefronts, yards, and porches. He started noticing how spaces made it easier or harder for families, neighbors, and strangers to interact. For example, his urban space experience got worse when his Latino family was uprooted from their home and expected to conform to how white city planners designed neighborhood streets for cars rather than for social connection. “[Latinos] are a humble, prideful, and creative people that express our memories, needs, and aspirations for working with  our hands and not through language,” Rojas said. “However, there are no planning tools that measure this relationship between the body and space. Therefore, our mobility needs can be ...

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