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What else affects our health?

We often do not notice this in our daily lives, and in fact it is influenced by many factors that at first glance are not directly related to human health.

In this part of the site you have collected materials and publications not included in the main sections of the website "Valeology healthy way of life"

Additional projects, articles raising topical issues.

Publications of the sponsors of the project, touching on the accompanying topics.


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Factors affecting human health

To strengthen and maintain the health of the healthy, that is, to manage it, information is needed both about the conditions for the formation of health (the nature of the gene pool, the state of the environment, the way of life, etc.), and the final result of the processes of their reflection (specific indicators of the individual's health status or population).

Experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 80's. XX century. determined the approximate ratio of various factors to ensure the health of modern man, highlighting as the main four groups of such factors. On the basis of this, in 1994, the Interdepartmental Commission of the Russian Federation Security Council for the Protection of Public Health in the Federal Concepts "Public Health Protection" and "Towards Healthy Russia" defined this ratio in relation to our country as follows:

- genetic factors - 15-20%;

- the state of the environment - 20-25%;

- medical care - 10-15%;

- conditions and way of life of people - 50-55%.

The magnitude of the contribution of individual factors of different nature to health indicators depends on the age, gender and individual-typological characteristics of a person.

Genetic factors

The ontogenetic development of the daughter organisms is predetermined by the hereditary program that they inherit with the parental chromosomes.

However, the chromosomes themselves and their structural elements - genes, can be exposed to harmful influences, and, what is especially important, throughout the life of future parents. The girl is born on light with a certain set of eggs, which, as they mature, consistently prepare for fertilization. That is, in the end, everything that happens with a girl, a girl, a woman during her life before conception affects to some extent the quality of chromosomes and genes. The life span of the spermatozoon is much less than that of the ovum, but their life span is sufficient for the appearance of disturbances in their genetic apparatus. Thus, it becomes clear the responsibility that future parents bear for the offspring throughout their life, preceding the conception.

Often, factors that do not depend on them are also affected, including unfavorable environmental conditions, complex socio-economic processes, uncontrolled use of pharmacological agents, etc. The result is a mutation leading to the emergence of hereditary diseases or to the appearance of a hereditary conditioned predisposition to them.

Inherited prerequisites for health are especially important factors such as the type of morpho-functional constitution and the characteristics of the nervous and mental processes, the degree of predisposition to certain diseases. (see Longevity)

Life's dominants and attitudes of man are largely determined by the constitution of man. Such genetically predetermined characteristics include the person's dominant needs, his abilities, interests, desires, predisposition to alcoholism and other bad habits, etc. For all the importance of environmental influences and upbringing, the role of hereditary factors turns out to be decisive. This fully applies to various diseases.

This makes it clear that it is necessary to take into account the hereditary characteristics of a person in determining the optimal way of life for him, choosing a profession, partners in social contacts, treatment, the most appropriate type of workload, etc. In particular, this is extremely important in choosing a profession that for our the country is quite topical, since, for example, only about 3% of people employed in the national economy of the Russian Federation are satisfied with the chosen profession, - apparently, not the last point here is the discrepancy inheritance and the nature of the professional activity.

Heredity and environment act as etiological factors and play a role in the pathogenesis of any human disease, but the share of their participation in each disease is different, and the more the share of one factor, the less the contribution of the other. All forms of pathology from this point of view can be divided into four groups, between which there are no sharp boundaries.

The first group consists of hereditary diseases proper, in which the pathological gene plays the etiological role, the role of the medium is to modify only manifestations of the disease. This group includes monogeneously caused diseases (such as phenylketonuria, hemophilia), as well as chromosomal diseases. These diseases are transmitted from generation to generation through the sex cells.

The second group is also hereditary diseases caused by a pathological mutation, however, for their manifestation, a specific environmental impact is required. In some cases, the "manifesting" action of the environment is very evident, and with the disappearance of the action of the environmental factor, clinical manifestations become less pronounced. Such are the manifestations of hemoglobin deficiency of HbS in its heterozygous carriers at a reduced partial oxygen pressure. In other cases (for example, with gout), the development of a pathological gene requires a prolonged adverse effect of the medium.

The third group is the overwhelming number of common diseases, especially diseases of mature and advanced age (hypertension, gastric ulcer, most malignant formations, etc.). The main etiological factor in their occurrence is the adverse effect of the environment, but the realization of the effect of the factor depends on the individual genetically determined predisposition of the organism, in connection with which these diseases are called multifactorial, or diseases with hereditary predisposition.

It should be noted that different diseases with hereditary predisposition are not the same according to the relative role of heredity and environment. Among them, one could single out diseases with a weak, moderate and high degree of hereditary predisposition.

The fourth group of diseases is relatively few forms of pathology, in the emergence of which the environmental factor plays an exceptional role. Usually this is an extreme environmental factor, in relation to the action of which the body does not have protective equipment (injuries, especially dangerous infections). Genetic factors in this case play a role in the course of the disease, affect its outcome.

Statistics show that in the structure of hereditary pathology, the priority is given to diseases related to the lifestyle and health of future parents and mothers during pregnancy.

Thus, there is no doubt that the hereditary factors play a significant role in the provision of human health. At the same time, in the overwhelming majority of cases, taking these factors into account through the rationalization of the person's way of life can make his life healthy and durable.

State of the environment

Biological features of the body - this is the basis on which human health is based. In the formation of health, the role of genetic factors is important. However, the genetic program received by a person ensures its development in the presence of certain environmental conditions.

"An organism without an external environment that supports its existence is impossible" - in this thought, I.M. Sechenov laid the inseparable unity of man and his environment.

Each organism is in various mutual relations with environmental factors, both abiotic (geophysical, geochemical), and biotic (living organisms of the same and other species).

Under the environment it is customary to understand an integrated system of interrelated natural and anthropogenic objects and phenomena in which labor, life and recreation of people take place. This concept includes social, natural and artificially created physical, chemical and biological factors, that is, everything that directly or indirectly affects the life, health and activity of a person. (see Hygiene)

Man, as a living system, is an integral part of the biosphere. The human impact on the biosphere is associated not so much with its biological as with labor activity. It is known that technical systems have a chemical and physical effect on the biosphere through the following channels:

1. through the atmosphere (use and isolation of various gases violates natural gas exchange);

2. through the hydrosphere (pollution by chemicals and oil of rivers, seas and oceans);

3. Through the lithosphere (use of minerals, pollution of soils with industrial waste, etc.).

Obviously, the results of technical activity affect those parameters of the biosphere that provide an opportunity for life on the planet. The life of man, like human society as a whole, is impossible without the environment, without nature. Man as a living organism is characterized by a metabolism with the environment, which is the basic condition for the existence of any living organism.

The human organism is in many respects connected with the other components of the biosphere - plants, insects, microorganisms, etc., that is, its complex organism enters the general cycle of substances and obeys its laws. (see Weather Conditions)

Continuous inflow of atmospheric oxygen, drinking water, food is absolutely necessary for the existence and biological activity of man. The human body is subject to daily and seasonal rhythms, responds to seasonal changes in the temperature of the environment, the intensity of solar radiation, etc.

At the same time, a person is a part of a special social environment - society. Man is a creature not only biological, but also social. The obvious social basis for the existence of man as an element of the social structure is the leading, mediating his biological modes of existence and the departure of physiological functions.

The doctrine of the social essence of man shows that it is necessary to plan the creation of such social conditions for its development, in which all of its essential forces could unfold. In the strategic plan, in optimizing living conditions and stabilizing human health, the most important is the development and introduction of a scientifically based general program for the development of biogeocoenoses in an urbanized environment and the improvement of the democratic form of the social order.

Medical care

It is with this factor that most people associate their hopes for health, but the share of responsibility of this factor is unexpectedly low. In the Great Medical Encyclopedia the following definition of medicine is given: "Medicine is a system of scientific knowledge and practical activity, the purpose of which is to strengthen, prolong the life of people, prevent and treat human diseases."

With the development of civilization and the wider spread of diseases, medicine increasingly began to specialize in the treatment of diseases and less attention to health. Actually, treatment often reduces the amount of health due to the side effects of drugs, then medical medicine does not always improve health.

In medical prevention of morbidity, three levels are distinguished:

• Prevention of the first level is aimed at the entire contingent of children and adults, its task is to improve their health throughout the life cycle. The basis of primary prevention is the experience of the formation of prevention tools, the development of recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, folk traditions and ways of maintaining health, etc.;

• Medical prevention of the second level is engaged in revealing the indicators of the constitutional predisposition of people and the risk factors of many diseases, predicting the risk of diseases by a combination of hereditary characteristics, anamnesis of life and environmental factors. That is, this type of prevention is not focused on the treatment of specific diseases, but on their secondary prevention;

• Prevention of the third level, or prevention of diseases, sets as its main objective the prevention of recurrence of diseases in patients on a general population scale.

The experience accumulated by medicine in the study of diseases, as well as the economic analysis of the costs of diagnosis and treatment of diseases, convincingly demonstrated the relatively low social and economic effectiveness of disease prevention (level III prevention) to improve the health of both children and adults.

Obviously, primary and secondary prevention, involving work with healthy or just beginning people, should be the most effective. However, in medicine, almost all efforts are focused on tertiary prevention. Primary prevention presupposes a close cooperation of the physician with the population. However, for this purpose the healthcare system itself does not provide him with the necessary time, so the doctor does not meet with the population on the issues of prevention, and all contact with the patient leaves almost entirely for examination, examination and treatment. As for the hygienists, who are closest to implementing the ideas of primary prevention, they are mainly engaged in providing a healthy living environment, rather than human health.

The ideology of an individual approach to prevention and health promotion lies at the heart of the medical concept of universal medical examination. However, the technology of its implementation in practice proved untenable for the following reasons:

• It takes a lot of resources to identify as many diseases as possible and then combine them into dispensary observation groups;

• the predominant orientation is not the prediction (prediction of the future), but the diagnosis (the statement of the present);

• Leading activity belongs not to the population, but to the physicians;

• a narrowly medical approach to recovery without taking into account the diversity of socio-psychological characteristics of the individual. (see Personality)

Valeological analysis of the causes of health requires shifting the focus of attention from medical aspects to physiology, psychology, sociology, culturology, the spiritual sphere and specific modes and technologies of teaching, education and physical training.

Dependence of human health on genetic and environmental factors makes it necessary to determine the place of the family, school, state, physical culture and health authorities in fulfilling one of the main tasks of social policy - the formation of a healthy lifestyle.

Conditions and way of life

Thus, it becomes clear that the diseases of modern man are due, above all, to his way of life and everyday behavior. Currently, a healthy lifestyle is seen as the basis of disease prevention. This is confirmed, for example, by the fact that in the United States the reduction in child mortality by 80% and the death rate of the entire population by 94%, an 85% increase in the expected life expectancy is attributed not to the success of medicine, but to improving living and working conditions and rationalizing the image life of the population. At the same time, 78% of men and 52% of women in our country have an unhealthy lifestyle.

In determining the concept of a healthy lifestyle, it is necessary to take into account two main factors - the genetic nature of the person and their correspondence to specific conditions of life.

A healthy way of life is a way of life activity that corresponds to the genetically determined typological features of a given person, specific conditions of life, and is aimed at the formation, preservation and strengthening of health and the full implementation of the person's social and biological functions. (see Valeology)

In the above definition of a healthy lifestyle, the emphasis is on individualizing the concept itself, that is, healthy lifestyles should be as many as there are people. In the definition of a healthy lifestyle for each person, it is necessary to take into account both its typological features (the type of higher nervous activity, the morphofunctional type, the prevailing mechanism of vegetative regulation, etc.), and the age-sex identity and social environment in which he lives position, profession, traditions, working conditions, material security, everyday life, etc.). An important place in the assumptions must hold personal-motivational features of the man, his vital reference points, which in itself can be a strong incentive for a healthy lifestyle and to the formation of its contents and features.

At the heart of a healthy lifestyle is a number of key provisions:

1. The active carriers of a healthy lifestyle is a specific person as the subject and the object of their life and social status.

2. In the implementation of a healthy way of life, a person acts in the unity of its biological and social principles.

3. At the heart of a healthy lifestyle is personal-motivational setup man in the incarnation of their social, physical, intellectual and mental capacities and abilities.

4. A healthy lifestyle is the most effective means and methods of ensuring the health, primary prevention of diseases and meet the vital needs in health.

Quite often, unfortunately, we consider and offer the possibility of preserving and strengthening health through the use of some tool with miraculous properties (motor activity of a particular species, nutritional supplements, psychotraining, body cleaning, etc.). Obviously, the desire to achieve health at the expense of any one means is fundamentally wrong, since any of the proposed "panacea" is not able to cover the whole variety of functional systems that form the human body and the person's connections with nature - everything that ultimately determines the harmony of his life and health.

According to E.N. Weiner's structure of a healthy lifestyle should include the following factors: optimal motor mode, rational nutrition, rational mode of life, psychophysiological regulation, psychosexual and sexual culture, immunity training and hardening, lack of bad habits and valeological education.

A healthy lifestyle as a system consists of three main interrelated and interchangeable elements, three cultures: food culture, movement culture and emotion culture. (see the section Culture)

Culture of nutrition. In a healthy lifestyle, nutrition is the determining, system-forming, as it has a positive effect on motor activity and on emotional stability. With proper nutrition, the food is best suited to the natural technologies of assimilation of nutrients that have evolved in the course of evolution. (see Healthy Eating)

Culture of movement. Wellness has aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, skiing, working in the garden and vegetable garden, etc.) in natural conditions. They include solar and air baths, cleansing and quenching water procedures. (see Physical Culture)

Culture of emotions. Negative emotions (envy, anger, fear, etc.) have tremendous destructive power, positive emotions (laughter, joy, feeling of gratitude, etc.) preserve health, contribute to success (see Psychology)

The formation of a healthy lifestyle is an extremely long process and can last a lifetime. Feedback from the attackers in the body as a result of following a healthy lifestyle changes does not work right away, the positive effect of switching to a rational lifestyle is sometimes delayed for years. Therefore, unfortunately, quite often people just "try" the transition itself, but without getting a quick result, they return to the old way of life.

There is nothing surprising. Since a healthy lifestyle involves the rejection of many well-known pleasant living conditions (overeating, comfort, alcohol, etc.) and, on the contrary, constant and regular heavy for unadapted to them person loads and strict regulation of the way of life. In the first period of transition to a healthy lifestyle, it is especially important to support a person in his endeavor, provide necessary consultations, point out positive changes in his state of health, in functional indicators, etc.

Thus, a healthy lifestyle should be purposefully and constantly formed during a person's life, and not depend on circumstances and life situations.

The effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle for a given person can be determined by a number of biosocial criteria, including:

• evaluation of morpho-functional indicators of health: the level of physical development, the level of physical preparedness, the level of adaptive capacity of a person;

• assessment of the state of immunity: the number of colds and infectious diseases during a certain period;

• assessment of adaptation to the socio-economic conditions of life (taking into account the effectiveness of professional activity, successful activities and its "physiological value" and psychophysiological characteristics); activity of fulfilling family and household duties; latitude and manifestation of social and personal interests;

• assessment of the level of valeological literacy, including the degree of formation of the installation for a healthy lifestyle (psychological aspect); level of valeological knowledge (pedagogical aspect); the level of mastering practical knowledge and skills related to maintaining and strengthening health (medical-physiological and psychological-pedagogical aspects); the ability to independently build an individual health program and a healthy lifestyle.

When writing this text, we used material from
"Physiological basis of health"
A short course of lectures on valeology
GOU VPO "Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University. K.D. Ushinskogo", 2007



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