Introduction To Health Risk Factors
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a risk factor as any attribute, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or injury.
This tutorial is about five of these health risk factors.
The tutorial is a vital component of the Health E-Management Program of, it is the first step in learning process.
It is here for easy access to other reference material and for a more interactive approach to study.
For those who choose to study on their own without help, this is the place to start.
More reference material and study text can be found in the posts under ‘Risk Factors.’
Questions, answers and comments can be posted in the comments box below.
We are using the major health risk factors to teach people how to take care of themselves and their health.
Some risk factors such as age, gender, race and hereditary are unavoidable; those that are as a result of choice, lifestyle or being uninformed are avoidable.
These are the ones we are using to teach people how to take care of their health.
Eliminating or reducing them is important for a healthy lifestyle. They are important to manage the unavoidable risk factors such as age, gender and race.
World Health Organization-Health Risk Factors
According to researchers, these risk factors override inherited bad genes as risk factors for heart disease and other illnesses, they are:
4- Physical inactivity
The more risk factors present, the greater the risk of dying prematurely.
The good thing is, changes made to eliminate one can reduce the risk of the other. For this reason they are being grouped together to manage your health.
You will get to know them well here.
Some of the health problems caused by these risk factors are cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, strokes, COPD, arthritis, osteoporosis, infectious diseases, depression and there are more.
In the long run your health care costs will be huge.
Some facts about smoking:
- Smoking has been identified as a significant cause of heart disease the # 1 killer.
- Tobacco takes the lives of millions annually.
- Smoking is also a major cause of tuberculosis.
- Exposure to second hand smoke may be the cause of respiratory illnesses .
- This places smoking as the possible # 1 health concern globally.
The good thing for those who want to quit is that there is help.
Smoking cessation is good for managing your health. It will keep you away from a specialist as you take control and not him.
Smoking is bad because the nicotine in the tobacco is addictive. When you smoke you feel calm and alert; you experience a temporary mood boost. When the effects wear off your mood is altered and the craving returns. Because of the personal benefits quitting is not always easy.
Quitting is the decision of the person, but support from family or friends is important. As soon as the decision is made it is important to ask them for support .
Good nutrition is important for a healthy lifestyle, to prevent diseases, to protect health, to promote speedier recovery from illnesses and to boost our immune system.
Good eating habits need not be expensive, nor healthy meals difficult to prepare. Quite often; however, nutritious meals are associated with a large grocery bill and lots of time to prepare.
Healthy eating is not about having plenty to eat either, but about eating the right amount of the right foods.
Healthy eating is not about a lot of meat in your diet.
The four food groups for the purpose of a healthy eating pattern in order of importance are:
- Vegetables & Fruit
- Grain Products
- Milk & Milk Alternatives
- Meat & meat Alternatives
* Meat is not as important as Vegetables & Fruit or Grain products.
We use Canada Food Guide to teach healthy eating.
*Salt, sugar and saturated fats are to be limited, they are your enemies.
*Include fish in your diet- Two servings per week
Exercise improves cognitive functioning, controls weight and reduces the risk of obesity and obesity related illnesses.
Physical activity protects us from fatal illnesses such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
- Thirty minutes of moderate exercise daily
- Muscle strengthening to strengthen major muscles
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Flexibility stretching to improve balance.
- Aerobic steps
Physical inactivity is one of the major health risk factors used to teach people to take care of their health.
Benefits of physical activity.
Being overweight is a major health risk factor for many of these illnesses including diabetes and heart disease.
When we consume more calories than our body burns, the excess is stored as fat. This leads to excessive weight gain and obesity.
What is overweight? -Weight is measured by the body mass index ( BMI). It uses weight and height to compare the ratio of body fat to total body mass.
A BMI of 18.5 -24.9 is within limits
A BMI of 25-29 is overweight
A BMI of 30 is obese
Another measure is the hip -to -waist circumference
World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity.
WHO’s Facts about obesity
Air pollutants degrade the quality of air.
Air pollution affects wildlife and human. They affect the respiratory, circulatory and immune systems leading to asthma, respiratory diseases and even death.
The elderly, children and the infirm are especially vulnerable.
Air pollutants can be localized around a source or can travel very far globally. Pollutants that contribute to poor air quality can be cycled out of the local environment within a day or persist over weeks.
Fine particulate air pollutions can cause breathing problems, decreased lung function and even heart attacks. long exposure to them can increase the risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. Examples of fine particulates are:
- Organic chemicals
- Liquid droplets
- Microscopic particles
According to current research, clean air can improve life expectancy.
Indoor air pollution from biomass fuel has been associated with high risk of tuberculosis, more research is being done.
Second hand smoke- You don’t smoke, but you inhale second smoke from those around you who do . Second hand smoke is the third preventable cause of death in North America.
Further Reading Text
Self Care Resources
1- To help you plan and implement a health strategy:resources component
2- A guide to studying on your own can be found: Click Here
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