(The Center Square) – Indiana plans to spend $ 50 million in government funds to find ways to make Hoosiers healthier.
Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill setting out a state health improvement plan to combat declining public health by providing $ 50 million in grants over two years to programs to address health inequalities .
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to look more closely at health disparities across the state,” said Rep Steve Davisson, R-Salem. “We need to invest in the well-being of all Hoosiers, and these grants provide our communities with additional tools to address common health problems.”
Rep. Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown, said the grant program will prioritize proposals that focus on improving chronic health problems such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
A recent United Health Foundation report showed that more Indiana residents smoke more than most other states, and it’s among the worst for physical activity.
Indiana’s health problems were also evident in other areas. The state is on the low end of public health funding and air pollution.
Only 21.1% of Hoosiers get either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. That’s compared to 23% of all Americans. Vermont leads the nation with 28.5%.
The foundation found a study that shows those who spend less time exercising spend about $ 920 more per year on health care.
The annual report found that 21% of people in the state have depression, while 11.7% have multiple chronic conditions and 27% have arthritis. Also, 35.3% of Hoosiers are obese.