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HomeHealth & FitnessWhat Can An Individual Do To Further Public Health?

What Can An Individual Do To Further Public Health?

You probably don’t realize it, but you could be doing a lot to further public health, especially with your daily routines and behaviors.

By thinking about and implementing these changes into your life, you can make an even bigger impact on society’s health than you might think! Here are some tips from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Get Vaccinated

Vaccinations are a great way for individuals to help improve the overall further public health of their community. This is especially true for individuals who work in healthcare settings where they are in contact with a large number of patients on a regular basis.

There are many different vaccines available, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that every person should get vaccinated against nine different diseases: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough), Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella (German measles), Hepatitis B and Varicella (chickenpox).

Eat Healthily

The easiest and best way you can help further public health is by eating healthy. Eating healthy will not only make you healthier, but it will also have a positive effect on those around you.

If enough people eat healthily, then we could drastically improve the health of our society as a whole.  First off, we need to identify what food items are considered healthy for us.

Exercise

Public health is a concept that has many facets and there are many ways you can contribute. Two of the most critical aspects of public health are understanding and preventing disease, which is why being fit and healthy is key.

Being physically active has been shown to improve mental, social, emotional and physical well-being as well as increase life expectancy. Exercise also provides many benefits for those who have chronic conditions or need to manage their weight. Get out there and be active!

Avoid Smoking

Smoking is one of the most significant preventable causes of death and disease. It is the leading cause of lung cancer and a major cause of heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, acute myeloid leukemia, cataracts, and premature births.

Smoking also increases the risk of developing many other cancers such as pancreatic cancer. In addition to these diseases caused by smoking, smoking also worsens asthma symptoms and leads to about 25% more cases of bronchitis among smokers than nonsmokers.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is a major factor in the national costs of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are often related to violence, crime, and other problems at home or work.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that nine out of ten adults drink alcohol with 71% of those being regular drinkers. It’s important for individuals to limit their alcohol consumption. Consider the following ways you can limit your alcohol consumption:

  • Drink less alcohol by switching from hard liquor to beer or wine
  • Don’t have more than one drink per day if you’re a woman, or two drinks per day if you’re a man

Wear Sunscreen

It’s not a myth: sunscreen protects you from the sun’s harmful rays. Your skin is your largest organ, and it helps protect your body from external threats. Sunscreen blocks the ultraviolet rays that cause skin damage and premature aging by reflecting or absorbing them.

Plus, wearing sunscreen every day is one of the simplest things you can do for your overall health. A study found that people who used sunscreen at least once a day was 70% less likely to develop melanoma than those who did not use sunscreen at all, even if they spent time in the sun without wearing it.

Practice Safe Sex

Sexually transmitted diseases are spread through vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. The most common of these diseases include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV). If left untreated, some of these STDs can lead to infertility or even increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. STDs are also more common among people under 25 years old.

In order to avoid contracting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease it is important that you practice safe sex and use protection such as condoms. You should also talk with your partner about their sexual history before engaging in any type of sexual activity.

Get Regular Health Screenings

One of the most important things individuals can do is get regular health screenings. Screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap smears allow doctors to identify potential problems early on. Early detection is key in ensuring a patient has the best possible chance at a successful treatment.

Getting screened regularly also helps patients establish a relationship with their physician and become familiar with their medical history so they are better equipped when it comes time for diagnosis or treatment.

Donate Blood

There are many ways that you, as a citizen of the world, can help make your community and the world a healthier place. One way is by donating blood. Donating blood helps ensure that hospitals always have a steady supply of life-saving blood on hand for emergency treatments.

Donating blood is easy and doesn’t take much time out of your day: most sessions last about an hour and a half, with the actual donation taking only ten minutes or so. All you need to donate blood is to be in good general health and at least 17 years old (or 16 with parental consent).

Contact your local Red Cross or other donor center today to find out when their next donor drive is happening!

Volunteer

Do you have a passion for animals? Volunteering with your local animal shelter is another way you can help those in need. Some shelters will even provide you with training so that you can be confident and competent when interacting with the animals. For all of these opportunities, feel free to check out Volunteer Match!

Wash Your Hands Properly

One of the most important things you can do for your own health and that of others wash your hands properly. A single handshake or touch with someone who has a cold sore virus on their hand may infect you with herpes.

This means that what you eat, drink, and touch, including door knobs and other surfaces, could be infected. Wash your hands every time you cough, sneeze or use the bathroom so it doesn’t spread any more than it already has!

Promote Healthy Eating Habits

The first step in promoting a healthy lifestyle is by eating healthily. If you eat junk food, then you are already on the wrong track. A typical day should include 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables and only 1-2 servings of red meat, processed meat, and full-fat dairy. You should also be avoiding high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and artificial sweeteners if possible.

Provide Education On Healthy Living

By living a healthy lifestyle, you are contributing to the public’s general well-being. There are many ways that you can live healthier: eat a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, and don’t smoke.

These lifestyle changes will help improve your mental state of mind as well as your physical health, which will improve your quality of life and contribute to the overall happiness of society.

Conclusion

Every day, we have the opportunity to make small decisions about our health. Not only are these decisions important for our personal well-being, but they also contribute to the prevention and spread of diseases. Here are some simple steps that you can take every day:

  • Get your flu shot;
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or with a hand sanitizer if soap is not available;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow, not your hands;
  • void touching your eyes, nose, or mouth;
  • Stay home when feeling sick until at least 24 hours after symptoms ha
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