Florida’s library patrons are hungry for health information and assistance.
Fortunately, Florida’s libraries gladly provide many different health initiatives. Among the most common:
- Health fairs
- Exercise classes
- Cooking classes
- Health information materials
- Seminars on specific health conditions
Following nationwide trends, health issues have become a serious concern in Florida. According to the Florida Department of Health*:
- Only 36% of residents are at a healthy weight
- Only 32% of residents live within ½ mile of a healthy food source
- 23% of adults lack health insurance
- 21% of adults face limitations due to physical, mental or emotional problems
- Only 20% of adults participated in enough aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises to meet guidelines
Although Florida’s kids are generally healthier than adults, rates of childhood obesity and food insecurity have risen since 2000, at higher percentages than the national average. And while more kids than adults receive health insurance coverage, the number of uninsured kids rises in non-white and lower-income households.
By addressing the health concerns of their patrons, especially those in underserved populations, libraries boost well-being throughout their communities.
*Data comes from surveys conducted in 2013 and 2014. Percentages are rounded.
Watch our webinars about health promoters.
To learn more about Florida Libraries as Health Promoters or to share your library's resources or experiences on this topic, contact the Continuing Education Consultant at [email protected] or 850.245.6636.