Holistic well-being is gaining greater popularity nowadays, and people want to ensure that they are fit and healthy in all aspects of life. When considering your well-being, there are several factors to keep in mind. Genetic factors play a vital role in determining our mental and physical health, but environmental factors can be just as influential.
What makes matters much more pressing is that our environment is under constant assault. Over the past few years, we have started seeing the devastating impact of human activities on the environment. Many may feel that although there has been much damage, this doesn’t affect human health. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are several ways the environment affects our well-being; understanding this is vital to protect ourselves.
Keep reading below to learn more.
1. Evolving diseases
Changes in how bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens behave has been one of the hallmark environmental changes we’ve seen recently. The outbreak of COVID-19 was a result of a virus mutation gone wrong, which cost millions of lives globally. COVID-19 isn’t the only time viruses and pathogens have mutated. In recent years several diseases have evolved, which can have devastating consequences for our well-being.
Mutated diseases can be much harder to find a cure for, and these can often be resistant to traditional medication. Controlling the spread of these diseases can be highly challenging and requires in-depth study and research. It explains why public health professionals are in heightened demand these days. If you’re interested in pursuing public health career, remaining abreast of evolving environmental dynamics is crucial. A degree in public health can prepare you to study how evolved diseases spread, which communities are most vulnerable, and how you can stop them. Getting a higher education degree in public health can be easy when you have an online program you can complete at your own pace. A masters in public health online can help you understand the complex interplay of the environment and human health to protect vulnerable communities.
2. Noise pollution
Noise pollution is one of the biggest yet most often ignored influences on our well-being. We might see a noisy area as a minor nuisance, but it can be much more. If you consistently spend time in a noisy place, you can start seeing a significant impact on your mental and physical health. Whether you work around a lot of noise or live in a densely crowded area, the results can be the same.
Long-term exposure to loud noises can result in hearing impairment, which is, in many cases, permanent. Moreover, noise pollution can lead to anxiety, depression, heart disease, increased blood pressure, stroke, and more. Dealing with noise pollution can be hard but not impossible. If your workplace requires you to work in a noisy area, ask your employer to provide noise-canceling gear. If you live in a noisy place, consider investing in soundproofing to protect yourself and your family. Moreover, getting in touch with a healthcare provider can help you figure out an effective solution.
3. Water pollution
One of the most pressing concerns for human well-being is the depleting water supply. Water supplies globally are becoming increasingly more polluted, which can have a devastating impact on health. As large multinationals fail to implement safe disposal and sewage systems, wastewater increases – we are looking at the re-emergence of several deadly diseases.
Clean water is essential for survival, and consuming dirty water can lead to cholera, diarrhea, hepatitis A, dysentery, polio, and typhoid, to name a few. Often, the most vulnerable populations include children and females in underprivileged, developing areas. Moreover, water pollution also has a profound impact on agriculture. Industrial waste seeping into fields can lead to even the food we eat becoming a health hazard. Campaigning for greater accountability at the top is essential to control water pollution and protect the environment and our health.
4. Climate change
Climate change isn’t something we’ll start seeing a few decades down the line – it’s something that has already started to show devastating effects all across the globe. The environmental balance is exceptionally fragile, and disregard by human activities has further damaged this balance. Globally, we can see weather patterns changing drastically. Areas that previously saw regular rainfall have become arid deserts, whereas other areas have seen catastrophic flooding. In many cases, the Global South has been the prime affectee while contributing the least to damaging activities.
Climate change has already cost us thousands of lives and continues to impact farming, water supply, and general health. However, tackling climate change is a huge undertaking and requires cooperation from the very top. We can reverse some of the damage by adopting more environmentally friendly practices, reducing waste, and being mindful. Out of all the ways the environment is changing, climate change is the most disastrous.
5. Air pollution
If you’ve felt like the air is heavier and smokier than it used to be, you’re not alone. Air pollution is a grave and real environmental change that hugely impacts human and animal life. Several factors contribute to air pollution. Large corporations undoubtedly play the biggest role by burning non-renewable energy sources and failing to control emissions.
However, the common person also plays a role in adding to our already polluted environment. Using cars instead of public transport vastly increases the number of emissions across cities and can pollute our living spaces. Additionally, switching to renewable energy, such as solar power, can help us reduce our electricity and gas consumption, lowering emissions. Air pollution can cause many respiratory diseases, most of which are long-lasting. It can also greatly reduce our quality of life. When everyone comes together to reduce emissions, we can make a lasting change for our well-being and our planet.
Even if you have good genetics on both sides, environmental changes can greatly impact your health. Disease rates are starting to increase globally, especially in vulnerable populations such as children. These are just a few of the most damaging environmental changes we have seen in recent years and their effects on our health. Coming together and acting now can help us reverse this damage and help heal our planet.