Modifiable drivers of health greatly influence the general state of health. I will now comment on nineteen of them with simple evidence collected by Hartenstein and Latkovic (2022) that helps us to see how we take charge of our health.
1.- Diet. Mediterranean diet linked to 30% lower risk of heart disease; Drinking two sugary drinks per day is associated with a 14% increased risk of all-cause mortality; Drinking water is healthy.
2.- Supplement. Fish oil reduces the risk of cognitive decline and 13% less heart attack. Drinking 1–4 cups of coffee per day was associated with a 12–17% lower risk of mortality.
3.- Use of substances. 9 out of 10 smokers who quit at age 40 may lose a lifelong habit. Drinking more than 17 units of alcohol a week has been linked to accelerated DNA aging, cognitive decline and heart disease.
4.- Mobility. Walking reduces chronic pain, strengthens the immune system, and significantly decreases anxiety, sadness, and fatigue. Improving the infrastructure for posture at home or work reduces disability.
5.- Exercise. Doing this alone continuously can extend life by 3-5 years and improve quality of life by 5-10 years. People 60 and older who participated in weekly balance activities and resistance training saw a 34% reduction in falls.
6.- Dream. Sleep quality, duration, and continuity are associated with better academic performance in college students. Sleeping less than 6 hours per night is associated with a 13% increased risk of all-cause mortality, compared to 7-9 hours per night. Insomnia is associated with a 27% increased risk of cognitive decline.
7.- Productive activity. The most engaged employees experience better physical and mental health. In the US, laid-off workers were 54% more likely to be in good or poor health. There is a strong link between health and engagement in charitable activities.
8.- Social interaction. Participants with strong social ties increased their chances of survival by an average of 50%. Sports and social interaction (tennis, soccer) are associated with greater longevity benefits than other sports.
9.- Material consumption. Daily use of social media for more than 5 hours increased the risk of depression symptoms in adolescents by 35% to 50%.
10.- Cleanliness. Washing hands with soap and water reduces the risk of spreading diarrheal diseases by up to 50%.
11.- Nature. Exposure to nature, or having a high level of greenery in the home, can decrease depression levels, increase motivation for physical activity, and reduce the risk of respiratory diseases.
12.- Atmosphere. Regular use of high-temperature saunas reduces the risk of all-cause mortality by 40% and the risk of dementia by 66%. Cooking with wood increases the risk of lung cancer.
13.- Sensory.- Regular exposure to sunlight reduces the symptoms of depression. Noise pollution has been linked to heart attacks and diabetes.
14.- Contents. Weighted blankets can be beneficial for people with anxiety, pain and autism. Lead exposure accounts for 30% of intellectual disability with no known cause.
15.- Tension. Chronically elevated stress levels can increase the risk of heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic disease.
16.- Mentality. Optimists are 35% less likely to experience a cardiovascular event and have better immunity than pessimists.
17.- Anatomy. Increasing lean muscle mass can improve metabolic function in all age groups and prevent decline in the elderly. Excess body fat causes disability or premature death.
18.- Physical security. Exposure to violence and security breaches have long-term health effects.
19.- Economic security. Poor conditions can permanently change the structure of a child’s brain and increase the risk of developing chronic diseases.
The ball is in our court for longevity with good quality of life.