Whether it’s the growing health awareness among citizens or smart digital technology for early diagnosis and personalised lifestyle advice, the Institute for Preventive Health (i4PH) can see many ways to support people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and access optimal care.
Preventing chronic disease
A healthy lifestyle can prevent chronic diseases and improve the quality of life, also for people who already have a disease. This is desperately needed: the health care system can already barely cope with the number of chronically ill people, a situation that will only worsen in the coming years.
If we want to make optimal use of the opportunities that exist we, as professionals, must think and act integrally; in other words, we must cooperate with each other and our networks on a structural basis from various disciplines and perspectives. Whether we are trained as nutritionists, movement researchers, technicians or social geographers.
After all, healthy living goes beyond putting extra vegetables on your plate or going to the gym. Alongside lifestyle itself, elements such as biology and living environments, and socio-economic factors such as education, profession and a person’s social environment also play a role. The challenge is to ensure that people actually take steps towards a healthy lifestyle and are able to maintain their new habits; and that they take steps that match their personal needs and preferences. For example, a healthy lifestyle will often look different for chronic patients than for people without physical disabilities.
|A healthy lifestyle is fundamentally important|
A healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and improve quality of life (for those who are already ill or have been ill in the past). It can reduce the pressure on the health care system and reduce healthcare costs. Circa 80% of cardiovascular disease cases and 30-40% of cancer cases could be prevented by healthier lifestyles. In particular, in young people and groups with a low socio-economic status, an improved lifestyle can bring about considerable health gains.