This paper aims at investigating the different ways through which people tend to develop lifestyle related health problem and how to adopt healthy lifestyles. Healthy lifestyles have been defined by various authors as the daily habits that are aimed at ensuring the body is in good condition without the need for medication. Many authors have further established that there is an increase in the awareness programs that have been raised by the health sector. More to the fact, numerous studies indicate that there is a direct impact of the lifestyle on health and vice versa.
Regardless of the increase in public awareness of healthy lifestyles, some people cannot manage to adopt these lifestyles either because of work related problems or due to economics. The essay goes in lengths to try and determine the factors that can prevent people from adopting this lifestyle. In the context of raising the public awareness a healthy lifestyle, the public health sector has been continually engaged.
The notion that the primary wealth of any human being is the health will never cease to be important. It is the health that sees us through our daily routines meaning that as soon as health is compromised, our lifestyles become miserable. Ironically, health also depends on the lifestyle.It is on this note that healthy lifestyles are regarded as very important in the modern society. To begin with, lifestyles have been described as the way of life, used by different people, and is mainly based on the cultural, political, socioeconomic and even religious context. They are the characteristics that distinguish different groups of people at specific locations and within some given time period. Simply stated, lifestyles refer to ways of life.
In the last couple of years, research has been conducted on the various implications of lifestyles and one major finding is that 60% of the health and quality of life of an individual all depends on his/her specific lifestyle (World Health Organisation, 2001).On this note, it is also wise to establish that different continents and countries exhibit different characteristics in lifestyles and hence there is a difference on the prevalence of lifestyle related illnesses in the different countries and continents.
As a result of the increase in the lifestyle related illnesses, throughout the world, health organization and government entities have taken it upon themselves to develop awareness on the repercussions that come with the choice of lifestyles. By choosing an unhealthy lifestyle, one has subjected himself/herself to a variety of outcomes such as disabilities, illnesses and even death. In the modern society, people have associated themselves with different and unhealthy lifestyles such as drinking, smoking, stressful lives, drug abuse, malnutrition etc. Unhealthy lifestyles have become the norm of modern society and more to that, emerging new trends such as technology has also impacted on this lifestyle (Markides, 1992).
It is thus of utmost importance to consider the lifestyles that individuals chose since there is a direct link to the mental and physical health. These problems include hypertension, weight related issues, heart diseases and so on. On another note, studies and educational awareness showing the connections between lifestyles and health issues should also be taken into serious consideration in the future.
All that stated, the main aim of this essay is to try and uncover some of the details behind lifestyle related disease. The main focus is on lifestyles and the related health problems. An in depth analysis of lifestyles is meant to give the substantial amount of ground to base the argument of unhealthy lifestyles.
It is a proven fact that different lifestyles have different end results when it comes to the health of human beings. Case studies of lifestyles that are affecting the health of certain regions include the prevalence of drug usage in Iran and practices of consanguinity in some regions. Usage of drugs such as antibiotics and pain relievers is at a very high rate in Iran (IRNA, 2013). The effect of this is that the immune system weakens and when the drug is injected into the body, it has very little or no effect at all. On some serious note, the individuals can experience an allergy to the drug which may lead to other complications and can even result in death. On another note, practicing consanguineous marriages may lead to some genetic ills in the subsequent generation. It is therefore important to discuss first the different unhealthy lifestyles that human beings are associated with.
Various indicators can be used to determine the type of lifestyle that an individual is subjecting him/herself to. This is particularly so because of the type of lifestyle, healthy or unhealthy, is relative to different people. Let us consider some of these indicators.
To begin with is exercise. This is an indicator of lifestyle in the sense that treatment of general problems has an aspect of exercise in it. It is with this note that it has been observed that a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise leads to better health. Physical exercise leads to the prevention of certain illnesses such as the risk of a heart attack, weight management, reduction in the blood cholesterol levels, reduction in the risk of cancers and type 2 diabetes, strengthening the bones and muscles, reduction in hospital recovery time and even the risk of blood pressure.
More to this is the fact that people associated with regular exercise seem to have very little stress and generally feel better in terms of having happy moods, have more energy, are relaxed and sleep better. This can all be attributed to the fact exercise is the antidote to depression mainly due to the impact on the brain mainly by blocking negative thoughts or acting as a form of distraction. In the context of brain activity, exercise helps by changing certain chemicals such as serotonin, endorphins and other stress hormones that are found in the brain (Department of Health and Human Services, 2012).
The second indication of the type of lifestyle is the diet and the body mass index. In comparing the lifestyles of people living in urban areas and the upcountry, the aspect of the type of diet cannot be left out. Urban areas tend to have unhealthy lifestyles when using diet as a variable. This is mainly due to the fact that diets associated with urban centers are composed mainly of junk foods such as fries. It has always been known that diet is associated with the lifestyle and subsequently directly related to the health.it is in essence that we state that unhealthy lifestyles are basically measured using BMI.
Healthy lifestyles can be described as those that have the proper diet. A diet that is composed of vegetables and fruits combined with whole grains and with low levels of saturated fats has the effect of protecting the body from illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure (Rodriguez, 2013).As an important note that is associated with diet and lifestyle, even a small deficiency in the diet can have a humongous effect on the body with examples being the deficiency in iron and calcium. Iron has been considered a crucial dietary input in infants, children, teenagers, and women during their menstruation periods. On the other hand, deficiency in calcium leads to weaker bones in a condition known as osteoporosis. What this says is that human beings need to reconsider their dietary inputs in developing and maintaining healthy lifestyles.
The most common indicator of a lifestyle is the use of drugs and other substances. This is a common behavior in the current world and is a manifestation of the unhealthy lifestyle that most people have adopted. In this aspect, addiction is the factor in the drug and substance abuse that is considered as unhealthy. Worthwhile it is important to note that the effects of some drugs do not recede even after individual stops using the substance mainly because drugs are chemicals that will tend to alter the bodily and brain functioning.
In the aspect of the body being induced with drugs, there are various methods that are involved such as injection, inhalation and even ingestion which have different impacts on the effects of the drug on the body. However, regardless of the way that the drug enters the body, the main target is usually the brain and the effects usually affect: locomotion, emotion, motivations, feelings of pleasure, cognition etc. particular so because of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Some of the most common results of drug abuse are death, illnesses, and disabilities. More to this is the fact that people who have adopted the lifestyle of drug abuse are more likely to subject themselves to injuries, medical complications, domestic violence etc. Additionally is the fact that drugs tend to have some adverse intrinsic effects on the health of a human being. Some of these problems include nausea, vomiting, seizures, stroke, development of breasts in men, cardiovascular effects such as heart attack, a weak immune system. Some of the long term effects of the drugs can be seen on the general behavior of an individual and include hallucinations, paranoia, judgment impairment, aggressiveness and even drug associated birth defects (Gateway Alcohol and Drug Treatment, 2017).
Modern times have led to the development of technologies beyond the scope of basic human understanding. It is thus important to consider the application and usage of modern technologies as a lifestyle that most people have adopted. The effects of this usage of technology are mainly on the physical and mental well-being. It is wise to note that use of technology is not bad and that being overly connected is the unhealthy bit of this technological lifestyle. To begin with, there are psychological issues involved with the overuse of technology and include depression, narcissism, and even mental expectations. The physical problems that can be associated with the overuse may include vision problems, hearing loss, and effect on the physique such as body aches among others. As with drug and substance abuse, frequent technology use can be regarded as an addiction with most of the effects resulting from frequent usage of gadgets such as computers, mobile phones etc.
Integration of recreation in the lifestyle of individuals can be described as a way to achieve a healthier lifestyle. This is mainly because the increase in technology, change in the social environment and even work has reduced this leisure time and to some extent even does not allow time for recreation (Stebbins, 2000). In this note, it is wise to point out that work is the major player in the reduction of the time for recreation and is furthermore associated with stress.
Most people experience long working hours, tons of workloads, changing work experiences and even the idea of job insecurity meaning that jobs are basically associated with stress. With all these factors in consideration coupled with financial difficulties, many people have adopted the idea of using the leisure time for recuperation purposes meaning there is no recreation per se. According to Iso-Hola(1997), by continually getting engaged in activities, physical or nonphysical, there is a reduction in depression and anxiety, increase in the levels of self-esteem and self-realization, an increase in social interactions, increase in the general well-being psychologically, life satisfaction and improvement of the brain and thinking capabilities. Though there is no definition of a proper work and leisure balance, any lifestyle that integrates some aspect of leisure time into the routine is bound to have some health effects on the body. It is impeccable importance to note that in leisure there is enjoyment which plays a role in the general psychological well-being of an individual. Furthermore, the interaction of enjoyment and situational factors greatly improves the well-being. In this perspective, enjoyable activities may be regarded as those that pose so little challenge such as watching television or can be described as those activities that pose a high degree of challenge but are met with equal skill (Haworth & Veal, 2004).
As obvious as it can be, sleep is a variable in determining the type of lifestyle that a human being is subject to. In this note, it is imperative to note that sleep is the foundation for living a healthy life. As stated previously, the daily hustle of the modern society mainly involves long working hours and basically sleep deprivation takes away from the body of the necessary sleeping hours. Ironically, excessive sleeping has also been linked to health problems. All this can be attributed to the fact that the brain can be regarded as the organ that maintains the state of wellness
Some of the well-known effects of sleep deprivation include inefficiency at work and a grumpy mood which, by all means, are a manifestation of the true effects that the body is going to experience when subjected to regular sleep deprivation.one of the effect of regular sleep deprivation include an increase in the risk of contracting diseases particularly so because sufficient sleep has regarded as a factor that boosts the immunity of the body. Another health-related problem is the risk of obesity primarily because lack of sleep stimulates the hunger hormone while depriving the body of leptin which is the hormone that makes someone full.
More to those stated health effects is the fact that prolonged sleep deprivation makes someone more susceptible to have type 2 diabetes. This is because lack of sleep alters the way the body processes glucose. Furthermore, the fact that lack of sleep decreases fertility and increases the likelihood of having a heart disease. On the aspect of productivity, lack of sleep leads to a reduction in the secretion of reproductive hormones and furthermore reduces the sex drive of both men and women. On to the aspect of a heart disease is the fact that sleep deprivation increases the heart rate while increasing the blood pressure and the chemicals that are linked to inflammation consequently straining the heart. As a conclusive remark on the effect of sleep deprivation, there is a decrease in the life expectancy of any human being (Farhud, 2015).
As stated above, medication abuse as in the case of Iran is a major factor contributing to health related problems. This lifestyle is generally regarded as to be associated with physical, and mental problems. By definition of medication abuse, this may refer to self-treatment, medication sharing, the use of medicine without prescription, unnecessary drug usage as on the part of the user. On the doctor’s part, this may refer to prescribing too many drugs, not explaining the effects of drugs and not considering any harmful effect associated with drugs (Farhud, 2015).
The last, but not least, indicators of lifestyle are study patterns and the sexual behavior of any individual. In regards to sexual behavior, dysfunction of sex relations in many communities and environments has been regarded as a cause for mental and physical health. More to it is that this problem can cause family related issues and to extreme ends diseases such as AIDS. On the context of study, an individual who is more engaged in study tends to be more physically and mentally well.
Considering that unhealthy lifestyles can lead to various health related problems, some people have managed to adopt lifestyles that tend to care for their well-being. It is therefore important to state some of the aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
Firstly is the reduction in substance and drug abuse. The use of various drugs either through injection, ingestion or inhalation can cause serious health problems such as heart attack, diabetes, cancer, stroke etc. It is thus advisable for anyone willing to have a healthy life to adopt the idea of no drug abuse. This can be smoking, drinking, injection etc. reducing the chances of contracting these diseases.
A checkup is vital for the assurance and maintenance of healthy lifestyle. Considering that doctors bring people back to fitness from diseases, a check-up is meant to indicate any abnormalities in the body functioning. This is especially useful for people who have a history of certain medical conditions that may be due to lifestyles such as in the case of consanguineous marriage related problems. Still, on the aspect of check-ups, regular cancer screening can save the life of an individual primarily because of indications of early infection. On the same token as a checkup, people who have a history of this risk should ensure that they do the screening at a tender age.
The ability to work on the mental and emotional health is a factor that leads to healthier lifestyles. Most lifestyle related problems tend to affect the mental and emotional health of individuals and can lead to depression and even death. That stated, by ensuring that these aspects of life are checked through various factors such as increased social contact, recreation, and being active, the problems are bound to diminish.
The aspect of exercise is crucial in maintaining healthy lifestyles. It has been stated that exercises have been associated with health benefits such as the feel good mood, muscle improvements and even mental and other physical benefits. Exercises maintain the body in shape by reducing stresses and increasing the blood flow throughout the body and therefore is a crucial element in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Last, but not least, is the diet factor of healthy lifestyles. Individuals who manage to observe their diet are in more control of their lifestyles than people who continuously lack certain vitamins and food substances in their diets. Considering that food is the basic building block of the body, any neglect in the required intake can have detrimental health effects such as bleeding, dryness in skin, weak bones etc.,
In the collection of data, there were primarily two variables to take into considerations. These two were going to be the basis of the research. More to this is that the obtaining data was achieved through a number of ways as will be explained afterward.
The first variable for data collection was the lifestyles that people have adopted and the diseases associated. In this case, the data was categorised in any of the following (Whenever present): Alcohol drug abuse, Antibiotic resistance, body Mass index, Cancer prevention, diabetes, food and diet, high blood pressure, sexual health, physical activities and exercise, obesity and being overweight, nutrition, mental health among others. All these were selected since there are various lifestyles that can be centred on a small community.
The second variable in data collection is the different type of people that are directly linked to lifestyle related problems. As stated, they are the source of information and include: children, adolescents and teens, the working population and the public health care professionals, people who are drug users, immigrants and refugees, members of the LGBT society, parents, minority health, and correctional health among others
To ensure that the data collected was sufficient enough, literature concerning lifestyles and health associated problems was collected. Some of this literature is from the health departments while other data is from renowned scholars mainly dealing in lifestyle matters. In essence, the process of data collection began by selecting a specific group, selection of the questions to be asked and finally consultation with other bodies to obtain data that is specific
There were two main methods involved in data collection: survey and archival research
This is particularly any form of questioning that is meant to bring to light knowledge about a large population of people, basically from a smaller one. The method entails first-hand information since the primary methods include interviews, telephone calls, filling out questionnaires and computer chats. Most of the advantages associated with this method of data collection are attributed to the fact that it is first-hand information and therefore there can be no alteration of the data whatsoever.
They can either be mailed, online or face to face.
It may be the best alternative when the intention is to reach a larger population but is difficult nowadays since mailing lists have not been updated. Contrary to face to face questionnaires which limit the time that a person fills the questionnaire, the mailed one gives the participant humble time to put his thoughts in order before filling any information.Furthermore, the resources at home make the response more accurate. On the flip side is that these mailed questionnaires can be lost or there can simply be no response.
The use of online questionnaires has Been driven primarily by the advancement in social internet communication. Considering that most people in the world have access to the internet and more so social platforms of communication, it can be regarded as the fastest and cheapest method to obtain data globally. The main advantage of creating an online questionnaire is the fact that they can be easily stored and retrieved on a yearly basis to conduct more research. This advantage comes at the expense of creating one because it is very difficult to design an online questionnaire.
In terms of the response rate, it has often been stated that the response on private networks is bound to be higher by using online rather than mailed questionnaires. However, this response rate is limited to the first few days with the likelihood of falling to much the same levels as the other types of questionnaires within an increase in length. Furthermore, this type of questionnaire prevents anonymity since emails are usually unique in identification. In this context, it is important to ensure that emails are password protected to prevent leakage of information.
Face to face questionnaires
These are the types of questionnaires that involve direct communication and there is no aspect of media or technology involved. The interviewer and the participant organize on how to meet whereby the questionnaires are dashed out. The main advantage of this method is that the response time is very fast since it is a one on one scenario. On the underside, it is only meant for small populations because a larger population is hard to engage because of the costs involved.
This is the most efficient method of data collection. This is because it is the most personal approach and hence tends to make the respondent more cooperative and willing to open up about the information. As a matter of fact, it is the most suitable method when there is any need for certainty about any information. The interviewer is able to react in ways that incite more information from the respondent. Furthermore, it is very important when dealing with more personal issues such as in the case of consanguineous marriages.
Some of the main disadvantages of this method of data collection include the expenses of training the interviewers and the traveling expenses. This is to say that the interviewers must fly to certain destinations to conduct the interviews or people can be trained on how to conduct interviews in that specific area.
They are generally less expensive than direct interviews but are mainly more expensive than online interviews. The main advantage to using telephone interviews is the connectivity associated with it. Most people have telephone lines and hence this type of interview can be conducted on a very large population. Furthermore, contrary to direct interviews where a large number of persons is used to conduct interviews, in the telephone scenario fewer are needed.
This basically is the use of researched documents to obtain the data needed. The main advantage is that this data is readily available either on microfilm or microfiche and can furthermore be obtained electronically for free (Hill, 2010). This is particularly helpful to people who want to obtain large sets of data for the research
Since there was a humongous amount of data collected, some of the common grounds obtained included the following:
To begin with is that most of the working population is, more likely to have health related issues primarily because of the inability to engage in recreational activities and the inadequacy and prolonged lack of enough sleep. Furthermore, this population is more likely to engage in drugs and medication because of the humongous amounts of stresses and pressure they are subject to. This, in turn, means that this population has a higher chance of having health related illnesses than any other population.
Drug abusers are the second highest population to likely have health related problems. The reason behind this is the frequent drug use and addiction related problems. Use of tobacco is more likely to increase the chances of having a stroke, blood pressure, disability and even death. On the other hand, marijuana use has the long term implications of hallucinations and mental illnesses.
Children born out of parents who have engaged in consanguineous marriages are much more likely to have some sort of genetically associated abnormality. The main reason is that there is a scientifically based reason as for why people sharing the same ancestor do not have the necessary genetical compatibility to conceive a child.
In terms of the public health department, increase the awareness of lifestyle associated health problems have decreased the health ills significantly in the past couple of years. This is particularly so because people have adopted better lifestyles
From the above findings, mainly based on questionnaires and direct interviews, it is clear that there are some points that we can consider as the main forms of unhealthy lifestyles. To begin with is that the lack of sleep coupled with stress and lack of recreational time can lead to heart problems, stroke and eventually death. It is thus important for the working class to balance between work, sleep, and leisure.
The class of drug and medication users has been regarded as a population that defines what an unhealthy life is. It is in this regard that there should be an increase in public awareness programs specifically directed at drug abuse. More so, rehabilitation programs should be encouraged and the target population the drug abusers.
On the aspect of public awareness programs by health institutions and government entities, it is a huge step towards a healthier population. The fact that there is a reduction in lifestyle related health problems is basically commendable.
There is continuing research on ways to improve the lifestyles of human beings but no specific model describes this. It is therefore important that research and more studies on models that can be used to achieve this milestone be described. On the aspect of quality of life, regardless of the engagements of any individual, there should be serious considerations of the health repercussions because as stated ‘health is wealth’. In this perspective, there is no easy way to living a healthy lifestyle and therefore sacrifices will have to be made.
Department of Health and Human Services. (2012, July). Physical activity-it’s important. Retrieved from BetterHealth: betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Physical-activity-it’s important
Farhud, D. D. (2015). Impact of Lifestyle on Health. Iranian Journal of Public health.
Gateway Alcohol and Drug Treatment. (2017). Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction. Retrieved from gateway foundation: recovergateway.org/substance-abuse-resources/drug-addiction-effects/
Haworth, j. T., & Veal, A. J. (2004). Work and Leisure. London and New York: Routledge.
Hill, R. S. (2010, Feb 20). RESEARCH DATA GATHERING TECHNIQUES. Retrieved from paws education: paws.kettering.edu/ellis/mycourse/ssci201/r-d-g-t-good-bnad.html
IRNA. (2013). Iran as a second country in using drugs in Asia.
Iso-Ahola, S. (1997). A psychological Analysis of Leisure and Health. London: Routledge.
Markides, K. (1992). Quality of life. New York: Macmillan.
Rodriguez, D. (2013, Mar 26). Your Diet, Your Health. Retrieved from everyday health: everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/101/benefits-of-healthy-eating/food-health-connection.aspx
Stebbins, R. A. (2000). Optimal leisure lifestyle: Combining serious and casual leisure for personal well-being. Bilbao: University of dues to.
World Health Organisation. (2001). Service For Prevention and Management of Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects in Developing Countries.