Once again, Linn County stands in stark contrast to Benton, according to the 2018 County Health Rankings (Democrat-Herald, “Mid-valley counties in the pink,” Mar. 14.)
While leading our neighbor to the west in lower levels of sexually transmitted diseases, excessive drinking and housing cost — ahem, Corvallis is a college town — the more deadly combination of obesity, physical inactivity and childhood poverty keep Linn County in the lower half of Oregon rankings.
Those of us who advocate universal, affordable accessible health care for all Oregonians often hear responses such as Benton County Health Department director Mitch Anderson’s quote: “The biggest influence on people’s health is personal choices.”
To that end, I would suggest that residents of Albany consider leaving their cars at home once in a while and using the bicycle for trips around town. Albany is very flat, and most shopping destinations are within very few miles. My wife and I, both in our 70’s, do more than half of our in-town errands by bicycle. Imagine that if all people younger than we are would do, say, 10 percent of their local trips on the bike, how much we could improve Linn County’s overall health, both from exercise fitness and from cleaner air. Not to mention the money we would save!