Monthly Archives: December 2015

Continued Health Dependent on a Variety of Controllable Environmental Factors

When it comes to matters of health, there is nothing more important than understanding the many ways we can be affected by factors that appear to be completely harmless. While most people think about how their habits relating to diet and exercise have an effect on their health, there seems to be far fewer who consider the health risks associated with poor rest habits and poor environmental conditions. Through raised awareness and continuing education of these many issues, it is possible to better protect against a wide range of preventable health conditions.

Even though those concerned with their health will go to great lengths to avoid the inhalation of secondhand tobacco smoke, not enough of these people make a similar effort to ensure that the air quality within their own home is ideal. With the amount of time we spend in our homes on a daily basis, it seems incredibly counterintuitive that this is not a point of greater concern that leads to regular duct cleaning Phoenix. If any evidence is ever needed to prove the commonality of a lack of vigilance in this regard, a quick look at the air filters currently occupying the vast majority of HVAC systems should be more than adequate evidence.

Certainly there are many homeowners and renters who are attentive to this issue and change or clean the filter on a regular basis, but there are surely many others who have ignored the filter in a way that has reduced its effectiveness altogether. As a consequence, these residents are inhaling all sorts of dust and other irritating particulates while inside their own home, increasing the likelihood of having to endure any number of respiratory conditions. Obviously, there is a simple and easy solution to this problem, and a greater degree of education regarding the potential consequences ought to be more than enough to bring about the kind of change necessary to protect health inside the home.

Proper maintenance of the HVAC system is not the only way to protect against airborne allergens and irritants that can easily lead to health problems, as there are a number of common products we bring into our homes that can cause issues as well. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are found in materials and products located throughout the home, and in certain circumstances they can emit an “off-gas” that may cause a variety of adverse health consequences. Certain types of flooring surfaces contain VOCs, as do some cleaning products and cosmetics, and there are a number of other products and behaviors that result in VOCs.

Even cooking can cause VOCs to affect the air quality in the home, so there needs to be some caution used by residents on a daily basis. This is because high levels of VOCs can lead to some very dangerous health problems, with short-term exposure to a high level of VOCs causing irritation to the eyes, nose and throat along with headaches, dizziness, vomiting, nausea and the exacerbation of existing asthma symptoms. Long-term exposure can result in more serious conditions, including damage to major organs like the liver and the kidneys, not to mention the increased cancer risk and the possibility of damage to the central nervous system.

It is important to note that homes are not inherently dangerous and drastic measures are not necessary to protect the health of those living within a home. Through sensible changes and a more in-depth understanding of the potential health consequences, the likelihood that the environmental conditions within the home will lead to poor health outcomes can be reduced to a significant degree. These changes are not terribly time-consuming nor are they very costly, so there is very little reason to risk the health and wellness of those living in the home by failing to take appropriate preventive action. After all, there is nothing more inconvenient than having to endure poor health that is caused by an entirely avoidable circumstance.

Enjoy the Company of Others for Improved Health and Wellness

When discussing the methods in which an individual can improve their overall health and wellness, the most common issues to come up will undoubtedly be diet and exercise. This is not necessarily a bad thing of course, as engaging in regular physical activity while maintaining a healthy and balanced diet are certainly prime components of health and wellness. While diet and exercise are automatically brought into focus, improvements in overall health may also be possible through something as simple as companionship.

A recent study brought up by Tim DeCapua mentioned that social isolation may indeed be linked to an increased risk of developing a wide range of illnesses. The study focused on elderly adults who self-reported their feelings of social isolation, with researchers then comparing the level of isolation in each participant to the expression of certain genes associated with health and wellness. The results showed that greater levels of social isolation resulted in increases in inflammation and decreases in the effectiveness of defense mechanisms against viral infections, leading to the conclusion that social isolation may indeed be a major factor in significantly reduced health and wellness.

There is an obvious and simple solution to this issue that does not require costly medications or frequent trips to the doctor, as all that is necessary to improve the expression of the genes associated with ideal immune system function is companionship. So patients seeking to improve their overall health should not only consider how to improve their dietary habits and exercise routine, but should also consider how to improve their social lives as well. Tim DeCapua recommends an approach that solves several issues at once, suggesting that taking a group fitness class at a gym can help improve physical fitness while also increasing the opportunities for social interaction.