Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The North Dakota Story Well Project

Fun Fact: North Dakota has more registered vehicles than it does residents. Although the wide-open space should mean more exposure to fresh air and walking paths for the citizens of the northwest state, North Dakotans suffer from the same health issues that plague Americans across the nation. Fortunately, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative struck a chord with lawmakers across the country, and North Dakota is one of numerous states seeking to increase awareness of healthy lifestyles--specifically among children--in order to boost future wellness.

In addition to participation in the Let’s Move program, North Dakota is sponsoring the Healthy North Dakota Story Well Project. The Story Well project gathers the history of residents living with or overcoming health-related challenges such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The goal behind the Story Well project is to reach out to others and move them to action. The hope is that the inspirational accounts will help friends, families, and even strangers take better care of themselves and prioritize their health to avoid disease. Not only does the storytelling help others, but it has proven to be a cathartic act for the storyteller himself, helping him become stronger and more health conscious.

North Dakota has the 22nd highest obesity rate in the nation, placing them just about in the middle of the U.S. in terms of overall weight issues. But we have to give them some credit. As an increasing number of states start to make health a priority, it is important to recognize the benefits of creative efforts such as North Dakota’s Story Well Project. Maybe their innovative wellness idea will catch on across the country, and provide a valuable tool for Americans struggling with day-to-day health issues.

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