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Enhancing Health & Well-Being through StrongBodies

Physical activity and movement is a cornerstone of well-being, contributing significantly to the physical, mental, and social health of communities across Wisconsin. In the face of prevalent chronic diseases and exacerbated health disparities, it is imperative to adopt a comprehensive community strategy that promotes engagement in physical activity, with a specific emphasis on strength training.   […]

Promoting Adolescent Well-Being

Addressing adolescent well-being is an identified priority across the state of Wisconsin. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, data from the 2021 Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicated that 55% of high school youth reported they have had problems with anxiety, 33% reported they have been so sad or hopeless they have stopped regular activities, and 18% […]

Supporting Youth Mental Health and Well-Being

Concerns about young people’s mental health in Wisconsin precede the COVID-19 pandemic — in 2019, 28.5% of Wisconsin high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless. UW–Madison Extension’s Behavioral Health Program provides direct education to young people and adults to build individual knowledge and skills on positive self-management, stress, and coping skills to improve mental […]

Strengthening and Engaging Local Health Coalitions

One of the goals of Extension’s Health and Well-Being Institute is to improve the health and well-being of communities through education, policy, systems, and environmental approaches by mobilizing collective action. One way to mobilize collective action is to work with local health coalitions, which are groups of community members and organizations that come together to […]

Improving FoodShare Utilization at Farmers’ Markets Through a Multilevel Intervention

Two of the largest barriers people using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, called “FoodShare” in Wisconsin, face at farmers’ markets are the lack of availability of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) systems and the lack of awareness that EBT programs exist. In 2022, farmers’ markets redeemed only 0.02% of all FoodShare benefits distributed in Wisconsin. To […]

Evidence-Based Information about COVID-19 Vaccines

During 2020 and 2021, there were over 48 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and almost 780,000 deaths nationally, with Black, Indigenous, and people of color disproportionately impacted. In Wisconsin, over 9,000 people died from COVID-19 in the same time frame. Compared to white Wisconsin residents, Hispanic or Latinx residents have 1.5 times greater […]

Increasing Healthy Food Access, Food Security

Food security—defined as the assured physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food needed for healthy, active living—is critical to family and community well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic shone a spotlight on inequities in our food system, exacerbated food insecurity, and amplified pre-existing vulnerabilities in the food system, including production, processing, transportation, consumption, disposal, […]

Positive Coping Strategies to Reduce Stress

Stress is a part of daily life, but when we face continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between those stressors, stress can become chronic and toxic. The effects of stress can lead to physical and emotional diseases, causing a burden on our health care system as well as personal problems that can otherwise be avoided […]

Supporting Mental Health

Wisconsin residents report an average of 3.8 poor mental health days in a month, yet many people do not have proper tools or skills to effectively reduce or manage the daily stress they experience. In 2020, the isolation of pandemic restrictions and concerns about physical health and safety increased stress and mental health concerns. In […]

Virtual Strength Training Leads to Improved Health

Approximately two-thirds of all Wisconsin deaths are attributed to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of chronic illnesses and has additional benefits, including improvements in strength, muscle mass, bone density, and mental health. Across the United States, only 9% of adults are reaching the strength […]

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