Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, with rates that have been rising significantly over the past decade, differing in varying states.1,2 Although there is not a lot known about the specific causes of these trends, recent literature has found a dose-response relationship association between inactivity and poor mental health, self-harm, and suicidal attempt, indicating that physical activity may possess a protective nature.1,4 Further expanding off this research, I wanted to investigate the relationships between rates of access to exercise, long commute drives, and healthcare providers to rates of suicide in 5 different states— to represent different regions in the country. Data was collected for five variables (suicide rates, access to exercise, long commute drive alone, primary care physicians, and mental health providers) in five states from the County Health Rankings website. Data was analyzed using ANOVA with post hoc analyses and correlation studies. The results showed significantly different rates of suicide, access to exercise, long commute drive by counties between Ohio, Maine, New York, California, and Colorado. When looking at the correlation between access to exercise and suicide rates, there was a direct relationship found in Ohio, New York, and California. In regards to long commute drive, there was a direct relationship with suicide found for Ohio, but an inverse relationship found for New York and California. In Ohio, as the number of primary care physicians increases, suicide rates decrease. No relationship was found between mental health providers and suicide rates.
Beemiller, K. (2020). Understanding the Relationship between Suicide Rates, Exercise, Commute Drive, and Healthcare Provider. Wright State University. Dayton, Ohio.