This week is Lifestyle Medicine Week and you may be wondering what is Lifestyle medicine?
Lifestyle factors impact upon our health, most people are aware that nutrition, exercise and substance use (think Tobacco) can impact upon health. However, the range of things that impact health is far more extensive.
A person’s health is closely linked to the conditions in which they live and work. Factors such as socioeconomic position, educational attainment, employment opportunities, disability status, access to health services, social supports, and the built and natural environments can strengthen or undermine the health of individuals and communities.Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020
Doctors, and allied health people who focus on lifestyle medicine understand that to improve many physical and mental health conditions lifestyle change (as well as wider social change) is required.
Often a health professional will provide information on lifestyle changes to a client/patient and then expect the person to make the recommended changes. Unfortunately, it is not that simple and modifying lifestyles can be complex and challenging for many people.
Those involved in lifestyle medicine understand the challenges and if you are going to make changes what may be most useful for you to focus on.
Why is this practice involved in lifestyle Medicine?
This practice is moving towards a general focus on lifestyles as part of improving mental health, in recognition that they overlap and better outcomes can be achieved by looking at both areas.
If you would like to read more about Lifestyle medicine an article in the Australian journal of General Practice provides an overview of the discipline.