Multiple factors[ edit ] According to Naci and Ioannidis, Wellness refers to diverse and interconnected dimensions of physicalmental, and social well-being that extend beyond the traditional definition of health.
The environment can affect health through physical exposures, such as air pollution OECD, b. A large body of work has documented the effects of exposure to particulate matter solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air on cardiovascular and respiratory mortality and morbidity Brook et al.
Research has identified specific physiologic mechanisms by which these exposures affect inflammatory, autonomic, and vascular processes Brook et al. The effects of particulate matter on mortality appear to be consistent across countries.
For example, a recent review of studies from the late s to mids found a consistent inverse relationship between airborne particulate matter and birth weight in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States Parker et al.
Another notable example is the evidence linking lead exposures to cognitive development in children Bellinger, ; Levin et al. The evidence of environmental effects of air pollution and lead has been reflected in legislation in many countries directed at reducing levels of these pollutants in the environment.
Increasing attention has focused on the implications for health behaviors and social interactions that are created by the built environment. The identification of causal effects using these aggregate summaries raises a number of methodological challenges and does not allow one to identify the specific environmental attributes that may be relevant.
More recent work has attempted to identify the specific environmental factors that may be important to specific health outcomes, as well as the pathways through which these factors may operate.
For example, the health of some nations is affected by their geography or climate. Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health.
The National Academies Press. An important example is evidence that links proximity to healthy or unhealthy food stores with dietary behaviors and related chronic disease outcomes Babey et al.
Another large body of work has documented how walking and physical activity levels are affected by access to recreational facilities, land use mix, transportation systems, and urban planning and design Auchinloss et al. Across countries, studies have also shown that physical activity by children is associated with features of the built environment, including walking-related features, and physical activity resources Bringolf-Isler et al.
The importance of residential environments to obesity and related conditions, such as diabetes, was recently highlighted by a randomized housing intervention: An important difficulty in comparing results across countries is that the proxy measure for the local food environment is often the type of food stores or restaurants available such as supermarkets or fast food outletsbut the extent to which these typologies reflect relevant differences in the foods actually available to consumers may differ significantly across countries.
One recent review found that access to open space parks and other green spaces in neighborhoods was associated with physical activity levels in both the United States and Australia Pearce and Maddison, Unfortunately, the study was not designed to identify the specific environmental features responsible for the observed effect.
A range of other physical environmental features have been linked to other health outcomes. For example, the density of alcohol retail outlets has been linked to alcohol-related health complications Campbell et al. Transportation systems and other aspects of physical environments that influence driving behaviors are also related to injury morbidity and mortality Douglas et al.
Living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods as a proxy for a range of environmental exposures has been linked to higher rates of injury in both adults and children Cubbin et al.
Social Environmental Factors Factors in the social environment that are important to health include those related to safety, violence, and social disorder in general, and more specific factors related to the type, quality, and stability of social connections, including social participation, social cohesion, social capital, and the collective efficacy of the neighborhood or work environment Ahern and Galea, What also seems important is the stability of social connections, such as the composition and stability of households 7 and the existence of stable and supportive local social environments or neighborhoods in which to live and work.
A network of social relationships is an important source of support and appears to be an important influence on health behaviors. Features of social environments that may operate as stressors including perceptions of safety and social disorder have been linked to mental health, as have factors that could buffer the adverse effects of stress e.
One mechanism through which the social environment can enhance health is through social support. Social support has appeared in many but not all studies to buffer the effects of stress Cohen and Wills, ; Matthews and Gallo, ; Ozbay et al. Resilience to the adverse health effects of stress has also been tied to factors that could influence how one perceives a situation threat versus challenge and how one responds to stressors Harrell et al.
One theory for the tendency of some immigrant groups to have better health outcomes than might be expected on the basis of their incomes and education see Chapter 6 is the social support immigrants often provide one another Matthews et al.
Studies have shown consistent relationships between social capital and self-reported health status, as well as to some measures of mortality Barefoot et al.
Social capital depends on the ability of people to form and maintain relationships and networks with their neighbors. Characteristics of communities that foster distrust among neighbors, such as neglected properties and criminal activity, can affect both the cohesiveness of neighbors as well as the frequency of poor health outcomes Center on Human Needs, b.
Spatial Distribution of Environmental Factors In addition to considering differences between the United States and other countries in the absolute levels of environmental factors, it is also important to consider how these factors are distributed within countries.Factors in the social environment that are important to health include those related to safety, violence, and social disorder in general, and more specific factors related to the type, quality, and stability of social connections, including social participation, social cohesion, .
Sustainability, Well-Being, and Economic Growth.
By: I will argue that the premise that economic growth necessarily leads to an enhanced quality of life and improved human flourishing in high-income societies is also problematic from a social science perspective. is an environmental and ecological economist who studies the interface.
Economic Growth and Human Wellbeing (Part III) May 5, Radcliff (), for example, found that people tend to be happier under social democratic welfare regimes, although he is careful not to argue that this is a causal relationship.
‘Environment and happiness: Valuation of air pollution using life satisfaction data. The Economics of Well-Being. of inequality in the three aspects measured by the Human Development Index.
that any GDP expansion should “focus on economic aspects of non-market and near. Well-being, wellbeing, Emotional well-being concerns subjective aspects of well-being, in concreto, feeling well, such as longer life and healthier social relationships.
Engagement refers to involvement in activities that draws and builds upon one's interests. Changes in ecosystem services influence all components of human well-being, including the basic material needs for a good life, health, good social relations, security, and freedom of .