BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's county health rankings, Erie County ranked towards the bottom of all counties in New York at 56 of 62 counties across the state. T heir ranking is one spot better than last year's ranking at 57. Niagara county was ranked 58, Chautauqua 59, Cattaraugus 60 and Wyoming County coming in at 24.
The ranking is based off of a variety of factors including poverty, obesity, housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods, inactivity levels, tobacco and alcohol use, among others.
Population health Collaborative Leader, John Craik, says Erie and neighboring county rankings can be unfair and misleading, though. Adding that Erie County is putting strategic systems in place that will yield better results over the long-term. One of the most popular solutions discussed was making nearby counties more 'walkable' communities.
"If you think about how often you see your doctor compared to how often you're at work, at church, or in your community at home you're really not getting the type of activities that's going to have an impact on your health that you are outside of the doctor's office," Craik said.