If you’re interested in a career promoting community health, consider earning a degree in public health or health education.

Young boy inspecting vegetablesOur health and well-being can be linked to where we live, work, play, and attend school—in other words, to our communities. A safe environment that includes clean, affordable housing; access to nutritious foods; clean water and air; good schools; and ample recreational opportunities can bring significant benefits to those who live and work there. A report compiled by Gallup-Healthways, based on an examination of 48 medium to large American metro communities, found that the five most active communities showed lower levels of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, as well as higher levels of exercise and healthy eating habits than those considered low-active.1

Here’s where public health and health education careers come in. By earning a public health or health education degree, you can directly influence strategies to build healthier communities. Two choices to consider are a Master of Public Health degree or an MS in Health Education and Promotion degree. Both provide skills and knowledge that can prepare you to enter the field, or assume an administrative or leadership role.

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Community health is a wide-open field. Communities, working with public health and education professionals, address it in different—and often highly innovative—ways. Here are some examples from around the U.S.:2

  • Anchorage, Alaska, will better connect its parks and trail system to encourage people to get outdoors and hike more.
  • In Baltimore, Maryland, the Be Well, B’More program seeks to boost physical activity for residents of 11 ZIP codes where health and wealth differences are the greatest.
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut, has established a pop-up market that will help residents and small businesses improve access to healthy, affordable food.
  • Danville, Virginia, has launched a regional, cooperative effort to encourage healthy eating and a more active lifestyle.
  • In New York state, the Dutchess County and City of Poughkeepsie Microgreen Project is trying to improve nutritional habits among children and seniors. The program will also have job opportunities for ex-offenders and those on public assistance.

Public health degree programs, whether graduate or undergraduate, vary from school to school, as do health education degrees. You may think that going back to school means choosing a full-time, on-campus program, but institutions such as Walden University offer online public health and health education degree programs. These programs are designed to help students launch or advance their career and make a real difference in the lives of others.

Online programs provide greater opportunity for students who want to continue working while they complete their coursework, or who may have family commitments. By enrolling in an online program, you can work toward earning your degree from just about any location, according to your own schedule.

Walden University is an accredited institution that offers Master of Public Health (MPH) and MS in Health Education and Promotion degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

1Source: www.healthiestcities.org/-/media/files/pdf/healthiestcities/gallup_healthways_2015.ashx?la=en&hash=810703BF092D582735F0CB4B2CAA9898D65BAD9E7DO
2Source: http://www.healthiestcities.org/map

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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