The link between health and behavior

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The link between health and behavior.

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Health and behavior are closely linked, and understanding this connection can help us to make healthier choices and live better lives. One crucial health paradigm is the bio psychosocial model, which suggests that health results from the interplay between biological, psychological, and social factors.

Regarding biology, our genes and physiology can play a role in our physical health and behavior. For example, certain genetic predispositions may make us more susceptible to certain diseases, while certain medications can impact our mood and behavior (Ogilvie et al., 2020). In psychology, our thoughts, feelings, and coping mechanisms can affect physical and emotional health. For example, stress and anxiety can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches, while positive emotions and a sense of purpose can improve our overall well-being. Regarding social factors, our relationships, environments, and culture can affect our behavior and health outcomes. For example, social support can positively impact our mental health, while living in a high-crime area can negatively affect our physical safety and well-being (Jakicic et al., 2019).

The bio psychosocial model suggests that our health is not determined by any one factor in isolation, but rather by the complex interplay between our biology, psychology, and social environment. The idea is that by taking care of our health and engaging in healthy behavior, our mental and physical state improves, leading to better behavior.

                      How this relationship impacts social determinants of health.

Social determinants are the factors that shape the conditions people live, such as income, education, and access to healthcare. These factors can have a powerful impact on our health outcomes, with individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds experiencing worse health outcomes than those from more privileged backgrounds (Hill-Briggs et al., 2021).

The above relationship can have an impact on our physical health. For example, behaviors such as smoking or poor diet lead to chronic diseases which are more prevalent among individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds. These chronic conditions can lead to additional health problems, such as increased healthcare costs, disability, and reduced quality of life. Social determinants of health can also affect individuals’ behavior and well-being; for example, lack of access to healthy food options, lack of green spaces, and high-crime areas can lead to low physical activity and poor diet (Singu et al., 2020).

In addition, a lack of access to financial resources, education, and healthcare can lead to poor mental health, which can then affect one’s behavior. For example, stress and anxiety can make it difficult for individuals to make healthy choices and engage in healthy behaviors. Overall, addressing social determinants is vital for promoting health equity and improving health outcomes for individuals.

References 

Hill-Briggs, F., Adler, N. E., Berkowitz, S. A., Chin, M. H., Gary-Webb, T. L., Navas-Acien, A., … & Haire-Joshu, D. (2021). Social determinants of health and diabetes: a scientific review. Diabetes care, 44(1), 258–279.

https://doi.org/10.2337/dci20-0053

Jakicic, J. M., Kraus, W. E., Powell, K. E., Campbell, W. W., Janz, K. F., Troiano, R. P., … & 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. (2019). Association between bout duration of physical activity and health: a systematic review. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 51(6), 1213.

https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2019/06000/Association_between_Bout_Duration_of_Physical.16.aspx

Ogilvie, D., Adams, J., Bauman, A., Gregg, E. W., Panter, J., Siegel, K. R., … & White, M. (2020). Using natural experimental studies to guide public health action: turning the evidence-based medicine paradigm on its head. J Epidemiol Community Health, 74(2), 203-208.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2019-213085

Singu, S., Acharya, A., Challagundla, K., & Byrareddy, S. N. (2020). Impact of social determinants of health on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Frontiers in public health, p. 406.

https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00406

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