Health Behavior
Washington County, Oregon

Health Behavior

The evidence is clear—physical activity fosters normal growth and development, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, and can make people feel better, function better, and sleep better. Some health benefits start immediately after activity, and even short bouts of physical activity are beneficial. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, outlines the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. It also highlights individual and community-level strategies that can make being physically active easier in the places where people live, learn, work, and play. (Source: CDC)

Physical activity fosters normal growth, development, and reduces chronic disease

How many Washington County residents walk or bike to work?

Walking or biking to work instead of driving can be a great way for Washington County residents to get more physical activity. Even a modest amount of physical activity from walking can improve health outcomes.

How walkable is Washington County?

Walkability depends upon characteristics of the built environment that influence the likelihood of walking being used as a mode of travel. The Walkability Index is based on the EPA's previous data product, the Smart Location Database. The map below shows walkability index scores by census tract in Washington County (Darker means more walkable).

Health Behavior in Washington County

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Eating a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables can provide protection against chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. However, many adults do not meet the daily recommendation of five to nine servings. In Oregon, only 20% of adults meet the daily fruit and vegetable intake recommendation. Communities can help increase these numbers by ensuring fruits and vegetables are convenient and affordable to access.

Physical Activity

Physical activity can reduce the risk factors for many chronic health conditions. For adults the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on five or more days per week, or vigorous activity for at least 20 minutes on four or more days per week. Communities that have affordable, safe and easily accessible opportunities for physical activity and outdoor recreation help people achieve these recommendations.

Adults Consuming 5+ Servings of Fruits and Vegetables per Day

Adults Meeting CDC Recommendations for Physical Activity

Health Behavior in Oregon

Additional data from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) indicate how common healthy and unhealthy behaviors are among Oregon residents. This data can provide context for Washington County's health picture. The "no activity" indicator is from the 2018 BRFSS survey; the other indicators are from the 2017 survey. 

No Physical Activity in Past Month

Eat Fruit < Once per Day

Eat Vegetables < Once per Day

About the Data

Means of transportation data is from the American Community Survey, Table S0801. This report uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau.

The Walkability Index raw data is available here, via The raw data is only available for census block groups. The census-tract-level index scores were derived by calculating a mean of the constituent block group values weighted by area.

State-level health behavior data shown in the donut charts is from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.