A Running Nurse Special Report:

Okay people, here it is.  We have been watching this disturbing trend for a while now.  Over the past three decades or more, this trend has been growing along with our robust waistlines.

Many of us hate statistics.  Every time we hear dreaded ones, it makes the hair in our ears stand up for a brief moment, but with all the duties we have, these statistics sometimes tend to get lost in the pile of bills and burdens we face on a daily basis.  In college days, many of us hated statistics, and were happy we passed that class to get our degrees.  Nowadays we do our best to try ignoring these.

But we all know that when you stare hard enough at them, statists tell us a story.  We live in a society that delight in stories, hence all the libraries and bookstores packed with books, and DVDs.  When the story gets rough on us, we can turn blind, let these figures pass through one eardrum to the next—falling off into nothingness, or we can choose to observe them and do something about them.  Some of us use statistics to make a difference.  As healthcare professionals, we pledged to use our roles as a teacher to impact our families, patients, society, and hopefully the world.  This is where we can find much use for some dreaded statistics.

For too long we’ve sat on reports about the sad state of our health (family, community, world) or filed them way back in our heads under the tab, “future reference.”  I know this because I’ve done this many times before–cut out articles from newspapers and magazines, copied some abstracts from the Internet, or just bookmarked them or filed them away.  The only thing these actions accomplish is clutter—something we are also trying to be free of.

Today I am brining you some grim news, but do not despair.   Along with these, I am also bringing a few solutions to these problems.  So if you are open, you and I will be able to use the stats below to further the work of healing our families, communities, and the world.  We can make a big dent in our universe if we evolve by using what we have to make the needed changes in our state of health, thereby bursting open the doors of ignorance to let the light shine in.  So let’s get going on this exciting run!


Center for Disease Control (CDC)

According to the CDC (as you’ll also find out by clicking the link above), Chronic Diseases are the Leading Causes of Death and Disability in the U.S.

  • 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.
  • In 2005, 133 million Americans – almost 1 out of every 2 adults – had at least one chronic illness.
  • Obesity has become a major health concern. 1 in every 3 adults is obese and almost 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 6 and 19 is obese (BMI ≥ 95th percentile of the CDC growth chart).
  • About one-fourth of people with chronic conditions have one or more daily activity limitations.
  • Arthritis is the most common cause of disability, with nearly 19 million Americans reporting activity limitations.
  • Diabetes continues to be the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations, and blindness among adults, aged 20-74.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., behind diet and physical activity and tobacco.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)

  • Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths.
  • Out of the 35 million people who died from chronic disease in 2005, half were under 70 and half were women.
  • This invisible epidemic is an under-appreciated cause of poverty and hinders the economic development of many countries.
  • Contrary to common perception, 80% of chronic disease deaths occur in low and middle income countries.

How chronic diseases have impacted our family:  The rise of chronic disease has caused many premature deaths in families at many ages and levels.  They’ve also cost many to loose their savings, homes, etc, putting many middle class workers at or below poverty level.  As a result, many live life between their homes, clinics, labs, and hospitals.  Great number of people are rendered disabled due to chronic diseases.  Many children have lost their loved ones due to lifestyle or non-communicable “chronic” diseases (heart diseases, diabetes, cancers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, etc), and the reverse is now projected to be true due to the rise in childhood obesity—statistics reveal that many parents will have to bury their children before many of them die!  The children are our future.  We can help them.

How chronic diseases have impact our health care:  Chronic diseases is burdening and congesting healthcare at a level never seen before.  Repeated hospitalization and complicated procedures have proven to be costly on clients and also on the institutions they attend seeking help.  Rising cost of insurance is affecting the pockets of all.  Healthcare professionals (manpower) is also stretched tin because of this epidemic.  People are coming sicker and sicker, and with multiple chronic problems, needlessly, when the best healthcare is preventive care (FREE!).

Who is to blame?  Putting the blame someone or something doesn’t really much help a situation. Finding a solution does.   We just need to start where we can to solve the behemoth of a problem we are facing.  People need to know what is sickening them–getting down to the root cause.  They should know that adopting simple lifestyle practices (eating healthy, daily exercises, stress reduction, getting adequate hours of sleep, proper vitamin D level, etc,) is the key to avoiding/remedying/reversing  lifestyle “chronic” diseases.

How to turn this ship around?  Have a massive campaign on lifestyle “chronic” diseases prevention in homes, churches, communities, countries, and world.  Engage every healthcare workers or wellness enthusiast of all walks of life to accomplish this end.  People who care to see others well, and who would happily take on the challenge to transmute these apprehensive statists reported by the monitoring agencies to health should be called from all corners of the earth. Immediately!  There’s room for many more here.

How will we measure our efforts:  noticeable increased fitness and health in our families, communities, and the world;  decrease in the number of people being  overweight (BMI 25-29.9) or obese (BMI > or = 30%);  decrease in the incidence of chronic disease in family, church, community, etc (reflected in WHO and CDC statistics).  Future statistics will also have a decreased number of complication, hospitalization, and death due to these chronic diseases.

OYE (Listen)!   What can a healthcare professional do to help remedy these grim statistics?

  1. BE EXEMPLAR by practicing good self-care.  Be aware of where you fit in this scheme of things.  Are you health-conscious?  Are you the best representation of a healthcare worker?  If not, then it’s time to get involved in taking care of you.  Join a group if you need that extra push.  Healthcare workers are communal people.  This should not be too hard of a task to get a few other of your co-workers fired up about their own health (Well, maybe it will be a little challenging, but don’t give up).  Someone will join you one day, even if it’s because they felt sorry for you.  Also, the law of average is such that you may get turned down many times, but then there will be the one time that someone accept your offer, and when you turn around, you could be heading the group as being the best example of health.  Get involved in your own health and fitness and be your best example of health now.
  1. BE A BUILDER by getting involved at a grass-root level in spreading the word that we  have the solution to this great chronic disease epidemic and plague we are facing.   Start your own unique project in your family, church, associations, community, and start building a better health for you those you care for.  Be the healthcare professional that chose to be highly involved in repairing, developing, constructing, creating, and putting our nation and the world’s health together.  Work with what elements you have.  Let your specialty be helping to build better programs to address the chronic epidemic issue causing most deaths in the world.  Use your wisdom, ferocity, bravery, strength, leadership, self-confidence, territoriality, patience, self-control, generosity, protective power and guardianship of health in your family, community, and the world.  You have the discipline of a lion and lioness.  Start your project, or join forces with another’s project (I can use the help too), in trying to help prevent chronic diseases in our families, neighborhoods, country, and world.  Let’s start building our communities up!
  1. BECOME A RUNNING NURSE™ and run with your project! Let’s come together, think together, move together, and rejoice in our evolution together.  The sun will set, but in its rising, let us we be found standing on the frontline of health, in solidarity to this cause!  Become a Running Nurse and spread a good word of prevention as best as you can.  This could help save more lives than any hustle that goes on in a sickness care setting.  Run for a world free of chronic diseases (I would love to see a large body of nurses and healthcare professionals run in a charitable race event promoting the good news that THERE IS CURE for chronic “lifestyle” diseases– a simple do-no-harm cure).  Take advantage of the power we have and the knowledge we could immediately disseminate in our communities, which can bring some relief to a world dying for the want of knowledge.  We can have a world free of lifestyle (“chronic”) diseases running with this message, one step at a time.  C’Mon and let’s do this!  If you are interested in joining forces with us, shoot us an email at info@runningnurse.com, and let’s set up a time/place to engage in dialogue and planning. Even if you are thousands of miles away, we can do this with the help of technology which is readily available to many.  Let’s begin this new year right.  Hundreds of precious lives are lost everyday.  LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU!!!