HealthLife Style

How Do Lifestyle Factors Affect Health?

Lifestyle influences health, including the food and physical activity a person consumes, sleep quality, and psychological factors. While these influences may not appear on a single level, they all contribute to various health outcomes. Psychological factors include personal traits, attitudes, and beliefs. The latter factors may have a strong impact on health, particularly those related to noncommunicable diseases. Finally, cultural factors, such as the amount of sleep one gets each night, can affect the health of individuals.

Several studies have demonstrated a direct relationship between lifestyle and health outcomes. In a study of Dutch men and women, participants who had never smoked or had a low body mass index (BMI) of eighteen to twenty-nine were nearly three times more likely to live longer than those with a low BMI. Moreover, those who had a good diet quality score were nearly twice as likely to have fewer cardiovascular disease. Although the relationship between these factors and improved health has been controversial, it is still worth investigating.

Another study, conducted in France, examined how smoking and alcohol consumption affected the health of smokers. The authors assessed these factors according to a standard health index. They scored each one based on a range of risk statuses. Participants with a low BMI scored optimally while those with high BMIs were less likely to live longer. Those with low BMIs were found to be more active, while those with high BMIs were significantly less likely to live longer. They also smoked less, were physically active, and consumed moderate amounts of alcohol. The result: a healthy lifestyle score ranged from zero to eight.

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