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Other Factors that Affect Our Health


For most individuals, the primary two issues that come to thoughts when desirous about tips on how to enhance their well being are consuming higher and bettering health ranges. 

Bodily exercise and balanced vitamin are cornerstones of our well being and wellness. However, meals and train aren’t the one issues that matter in terms of our well being. Actually, for some folks, different components, a number of of which they haven’t any management over, could have a higher affect on well being and wellbeing than meals and train. 

Whereas some vitamin and health coaches could naturally be targeted on working with purchasers to construct way of life habits that may assist them acquire a greater sense of wellbeing, it is very important concentrate on the a number of components that affect an individual’s well being and wellness which might be unrelated to way of life components. 

On this article, we introduce you to the inner and exterior components which may be influencing your shopper’s well being and wellbeing. We additionally introduce you to goal and subjective measures of well being and the way they will work collectively to achieve a greater understanding of an individual’s well being standing. 


Components that Have an effect on a Individual’s Well being and Wellbeing

The components that have an effect on an individual’s well being and wellbeing will be broadly positioned in three interconnected classes: organic and genetic components, environmental, and behavioral components. 

Biology and Genetics

From even earlier than an individual is born, their genes maintain secrets and techniques for his or her predisposition to certain conditions

Genes are basically the “directions” for the way your physique must operate. You inherit your genes, that are made up of DNA, out of your organic dad and mom. Genetic make-up is without doubt one of the largest components in terms of a predisposition of the event of situations and ailments, simply as they can be protecting towards them. When a gene will increase your threat of growing a well being situation, it’s known as a genetic threat issue.

Individual biology and genetics affect:

  • Metabolism
  • Dietary standing
  • Immune response
  • Hormonal response
  • Homeostasis

Remember the fact that even you probably have a gene that will increase your vulnerability to growing a illness, it doesn’t essentially imply you’ll develop it. 

For instance, analysis has demonstrated that individuals who have a number of of the genetic markers HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQB1, or HLA-DRB1 are in danger for developing type 1 diabetes. Whereas having these genetic markers will increase your threat of sort 1 diabetes, scientists have recognized folks with these genetic markers who by no means develop the situation. It is because an individual’s atmosphere has a basic position in whether or not an individual develops the situation or not. 

The identical is true of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in breast most cancers. 


Environmental components are complicated and range extensively. The atmosphere refers to the place people reside, work, and thru which individuals transfer. Generally, these components are known as the “health ecosystem.” 

Some environmental components embody: 

  • Publicity to environmental toxins
  • Entry to healthcare
  • Publicity to illness brokers (like micro organism, fungus, and viruses)
  • Sociocultural components and discrimination (generally known as social determinants of health)
  • Publicity to poisonous stress
  • Publicity to power stress

All residing issues, not solely people, are known as “plastic,” particularly within the early phases of improvement. In depth analysis has been carried out on how hostile childhood occasions, like experiencing abuse, being affected by pure disasters, and residing in areas the place violence is predominant, not solely have an effect on an individual’s psychological improvement but additionally their bodily improvement, to the purpose the place they’ve a considerably higher chance of growing power illness. 

Different environmental components which have a direct impact on an individual’s well being and wellbeing embody entry to protected out of doors areas, entry to low-cost and nutritious meals, and entry to well-paying jobs with time for recreation. Within the US and plenty of elements of the world, there are important disparities between entry to health-promoting environments for folks of various races. 

Black and Brown folks usually expertise environmental racism, the place they’re extra prone to reside in environments which have a damaging influence on their well being and wellbeing. 

The atmosphere has a big, usually missed, affect on our well being. Sadly, there are restricted issues folks can do on a person degree to change their atmosphere, which is why advocates like well being coaches and public coverage are so essential. 

Behaviors and Life-style

What we do, out of selection or not, is one other complicated issue that influences our well being. Vitamin and train normally fall into this class. 

Nonetheless, it’s incorrect to imagine that way of life and behaviors are fully in an individual’s management or determined solely by choice.

Whereas private likes, dislikes, values, information, and needs influence our behaviors, they aren’t the one issues. Generally, environmental and organic components are a lot stronger forces for folks than what they really want to do. 

There are whole analysis teams and faculties devoted to well being habits change concept. You possibly can study extra by studying these articles: 

Goal vs. Subjective Measures of Well being and Wellness

Well being is multifaceted and complicated. Whereas some elements of well being will be measured, extra importantly, well being is skilled. The various factors that have an effect on our well being and wellbeing that we point out above could possibly be detected and improved when well being professionals worth and make the most of each subjective and goal measures of well being. 

Subjective Measures of Well being

“Measures” is, maybe, too technical a phrase to explain how we really feel about our well being because it implies a selected numerical score associated to totally different indexes. From a subjective perspective, well being is felt, not weighed, timed, or analyzed in a lab. 

Subjective measures of well being are primarily based on particular person consciousness and expertise.  

Dr. Howard Koh wrote in his article “The Final Measures of Well being” within the Journal of Public Well being Studies, “Well being arises not simply from a health care provider’s workplace, but additionally from our houses, jobs, faculties, communities, and locations of worship—in brief, the place we reside, labor, study, play, and pray. All of those situations decide whether or not we are able to absolutely be wholesome…”

How you’re feeling could also be is simply as essential, if not more essential, than what your lab assessments say. Actually, analysis has demonstrated that common perceived well being predicts for morbidity and mortality, even after controlling for well being issues. In different phrases, no matter your “measurable” well being standing, how wholesome and nicely you’re feeling is an extremely good predictor of whether or not you might be sick and the way lengthy you need to reside. 

Among the challenges of relying on subjective measures of well being are:

  • Signs of particular biomedical situations could also be totally different for everybody.
  • Some ailments and situations will be growing earlier than an individual experiences signs, so subjective measures is probably not as efficient for preventative measures of well being. 
  • Some well being professionals query the usefulness of subjective measures of well being, which can result in a dismissal of your expertise, feeling, or instinct. That is one type of medical gaslighting
  • They don’t essentially result in a transparent therapy or administration path, although different sciences could possibly study quite a bit from psychology to search out methods to do that extra successfully. 

Remember the fact that some subjective measures of well being and wellbeing could also be translated into numerical measures that might give well being professionals an thought of the easiest way to maneuver ahead in a training or therapy plant. Indicators of trauma, such because the Adverse Childhood Events (ACE’s), is a good instance. 

Goal Measures of Well being

Goal measures of well being are these that may be examined or numerically measured. Typically, outcomes are in comparison with a normal or a spread that’s thought-about wholesome. 

Among the gold requirements in goal measures of well being from a medical perspective embody these associated to preventative and diagnostic well being screenings. 

  • Metabolic panels
  • Full blood counts
  • Lipid panel
  • Hormone assessments 
  • Hemoglobin A1C
  • Liver panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Cultures (urine and stool)
  • Biopsies
  • Tumor markers
  • Questionnaires 
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Electrocardiogram

Checks are very important for detecting a number of chronic diseases and different situations early on, resembling most cancers, pre-diabetes and diabetes, osteoporosis, STDs, polycystic ovarian syndrome, despair, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and excessive ldl cholesterol. Typically, physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners can solely give an individual a prescription for pharmaceutical treatment after having the lab work as proof to display that the prescription will seemingly be efficient to deal with what’s going on within the physique. 

Whereas goal measures of well being are helpful to know what’s going on contained in the physique in methods we are able to’t see to find out an efficient line of therapy, they’ve a number of drawbacks. 

  • There aren’t goal measures in most dimensions of wellness (although some researchers are trying to get there). 
  • It relies on the healthcare workforce to know what to measure and tips on how to measure it. If a healthcare workforce doesn’t see any crimson flags in no matter they measured, an individual’s lack of wellness could also be dismissed. 
  • They focus considerably extra on bodily and organic well being measures than on different elements of well being and wellness. 

Lastly, in some circumstances, goal measures of well being could also be misguided of their use. Beneath we offer one instance of a probably misguided measure of well being.  

Case Examine: BMI as a Misused Goal Measure of Well being

One of many drawbacks of goal measures of well being is that they could be misguided. For instance, the usage of physique mass index has been used for generations as a solution to not directly decide an individual’s well being threat. Nonetheless, there are quite a few flaws with the usage of BMI, particularly when an individual seeks assist for his or her well being on a private degree resembling in a well being teaching or doctor setting. 

  • First, BMI is what is known as a “doubly-indirect” measure. It’s alleged to be an indicator of physique composition, however it doesn’t truly differentiate between fats, muscle, bone, and different tissues. 
  • Second, BMI was by no means meant for use in medical settings. It was designed to achieve a greater understanding of the proportions of an “common” Belgian male physique. 

As Stephen Humphreys factors out in a fairly well-known article printed within the British Journal of Normal Follow in 2010, “In brief, it was designed with Belgians in thoughts, and doesn’t work so straightforwardly on such populations as Bangladeshis, Botswanans, or boxers.”

BMI could generally be helpful for public well being approaches since you don’t prick anybody with a needle or spend cash on labs. Nonetheless, there are extra direct and correct measures of physique composition, and no doubt, of well being. On a person degree, BMI has poor sensitivity and is inaccurate when physique composition is related. 

And, whereas there could also be a correlation (not causation) between BMI and a few measures of well being on inhabitants ranges, there are nonetheless significant gaps in the understanding of these relationships. 

What are the alternate options to BMI?

For athletes, physique composition could also be essential, wherein case extra correct instruments like skinfolds, hydrostatic weighing, bod pods, and bioelectrical impedance evaluation could also be thought-about. 

For most individuals, nonetheless, physique composition isn’t as essential as are extra particular measures of well being, like blood stress, ldl cholesterol and triglyceride ranges, blood glucose ranges, and subjective measures of well being. 

Important Takeaways

Bettering vitamin and health are typically what first involves thoughts after we take into consideration “getting wholesome.” Nonetheless, whereas meals and train habits each have an essential position in way of life components that have an effect on our well being, these are solely two of the a number of, complicated components that decide somebody’s well being standing—one thing that may be measured utilizing each goal and subjective measures of well being. 

Moreover, simply as physicians and well being coaches can work collectively to assist folks on a path to well being and wellness, subjective measures and goal measures of well being will be complementary in understanding what’s going on inside an individual’s physique and tips on how to present our bodies and minds with instruments to ascertain stability and assist folks in feeling nicely. 


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