In 2011, the State of the County Report was published for Mecklenburg County. From this report, nine priority health concerns were developed. The top priority concern was “Prevention of Chronic Disease and Disability through Health Behaviors.” The report comments on emerging issues noted by the differences in the 2010 County Health Assessment (CHA) to the 2011 CHA. The top emerging issue that was carried over to 2011 was the need for environmental and policy changes that will assist in changing the needed support for those individuals who want to choose and create healthy behaviors. Reports from 2010 indicate that in Charlotte approximately 64% of adults were overweight or obese, 24% reported no physical exercise in the past month, and 17% were current smokers. Minority populations reported rates seven times higher than Caucasians in the areas of smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity.
Based off of the 2011 State of the County Report and a HealthPlex research study, Johnson C. Smith University has begun a focused effort on increasing that amount of physical activity for faculty, staff, students, and community members of the Northwest Corridor. In this effort, Johnson C. Smith University will begin to lead the way by developing policies and best practices specifically for closing the gap on health disparities that caused by high percentage of smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity within the African American community.
The HealthPlex’s wellness programming and access to its fitness equipment is free of charge to the JCSU campus and to community members of the Northwest Corridor.