Making healthy choices easier
Community health professor Carlos Crespo studies the connection between physical activity and health among minorities, where ailments like hypertension and diabetes are more common than in the general population. His particular focus is "the sedentary lifestyle, couch potato, whatever you want to call it," he says.
Minority communities often face extra obstacles to getting enough exercise. "If there isn't a park where you live, or a safe place where you can walk, you're not going to walk," he says. Crime, or people's perception of how much crime is in their community, is also a deterrent.
Another important factor in keeping communities healthy, Crespo says, is high school gym class. In some communities, Crespo says, "minority kids barely have good teachers, and sometimes no P.E. teacher." A lack of physical education is an unfortunate predictor of an inactive lifestyle. These deferred costs have a major societal impact.
As director of the School of Community Health, Carlos Crespo leads a team of faculty who study the health of large populations: disease trends, risk factors for poor health, and other issues that can affect anyone.
He has the opportunity to help transform the state's system to make quality health care accessible and affordable for every Oregonian through his work on the Oregon Health Policy Board, and with the Oregon Health Authority.
Read more about PSU's outstanding faculty.