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Overcome life expectancy statistic; take care of yourself

Buckeye State residents do not always do the best job taking care of our health; and some populations face even greater challenges. It is no surprise then to learn the average life expectancy in the state is almost two years shorter than the nation as a whole.

Ohio ranks 42nd in the nation for average life expectancy at 76.9 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. (Hawaii is the star, with an average life expectancy of 80.9 years.) In Ohio, the average for men is 74.3 years and for women, 79.5.

In case you’re wondering, the data does not reflect any changes in life expectancy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers are from 2019.

So what, in addition to taking every precaution against the virus, are Ohioans to do?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the answers are simple, if not always easy: Move more — exercise; eat healthier; pay attention to your weight and shape; don’t smoke or use tobacco products; keep your brain active; if you drink alcohol, use moderation; get regular checkups and be good to yourself.

Of course, Ohio also needs to make vast improvements in its infant mortality rate, particularly among minorities.

There is work to do, to climb out of the basement when it comes to life expectancy, but Buckeye State residents aren’t afraid of a little work. Now let’s get to it.

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