Every day we make choices that influence our health. With busy lives and demands on our time, making healthier choices can be challenging. Yet even small changes in your lifestyle—or gradual ones—will benefit your overall health and well-being. Research shows that there are many things we can do to reduce the risk of diseases and disorders – and try to prevent their recurrence. These factors relate to how and where we live, work, and play.
Healthy Body Weight
In North America, research estimates that 70% of diseases could be prevented with healthier body weights alone. A healthier body weight is one of the most important ways to reduce your risk of disease, especially for people with family histories.
Healthy, Balanced Nutrition
Taking a balanced approach to what you eat can help you to reach or maintain a healthier body weight, which is a key factor in lowering your risk of disease. There is no single ‘superfood’ that can prevent all disease. Research on nutrition and risk reduction tells us that we can reduce our risk of disease by eating a more balanced diet with a variety of foods and smaller portions for a healthier body weight.
Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity helps improve overall physical, emotional and social health and well-being. Another important reason to get more active is that it can lower your risk of disease by as much as 40%. Research indicates that the level of hormones produced by the body that may promote disease development can be modified by physical activity.
Active smoking may increase your risk of developing specific disease and illnesses. Evidence also suggests that exposure to second-hand smoke (sometimes called passive smoking), may increase risk. There are many benefits to not smoking – it can lower your risk of disease and chronic conditions such as such as heart disease, lung cancer and other cancers.
Alcohol is a known carcinogen—a substance that causes disease and illness. The brain is one of the most sensitive parts of the body to the actions of alcohol. It’s not the type of alcohol that causes issues, it’s the amount consumed and how frequently. Having one drink per day can increase a person’s relative risk of brain issues by up to 13%, and the risk increases with the number of drinks.
We know that overall health and well-being, is shaped by our biology and the way we live. Increasingly, we are also learning about how our health and risk for disease, is influenced by our environment - where we live, work, and play.
There is a growing body of research that links chemicals in our environment with disease and illness risk. These include workplace chemicals used in some industries, as well as chemicals in the personal care and household products we use.
In the Workplace
Close to 60 workplace chemicals are listed by the International Agency for Research on known or probable causes of disease. Furthermore, at least 100 workplace chemicals are suspected of being possible causes of illness. Depending on where we work and what we do for a living, our health may be affected. We are most at risk if we are exposed to toxic chemicals in the workplace.
In the Home
Evidence suggests that low-level chemical exposures in our environment may cause unintended changes in our bodies, including disruptions in the hormonal system, early puberty or altered mammary gland development—factors known as triggers for disease and illness.
Studies of indoor air and household dust show that we are exposed to a daily mix of synthetic chemicals in the home. This chemical mix comes from the air outside, from building materials and furniture, from our possessions and the personal care and household products we use. Knowing what is in the products we use and how they impact our health can help us to make informed choices about the products we buy.
When we face scientific uncertainty, we have options and we can act. If we think there is potential for harm, we can choose to take preventive action now – this is what’s known as the precautionary principle.
Motions supports the use of the precautionary principle as a way to apply evolving disease prevention evidence in our daily lives. By following the precautionary principle in your life, when scientific evidence is inconclusive you put your health first and err on the side of caution.
Take the quiz!
Do you experience a lot of stress at work?
Have you ever been abused (physically or emotionally)?
Do you have a supportive network of friends and family?
Has your home been water damaged?
Do you spend less than 4 hours in nature per week?
Is your job sedentary?
Do you spend more than 4 hours in front of a computer per day?
Do you go to bed after 10pm?
Do you carry your cell phone with you at all times?
Do you have a hard time practicing meditation, deep breathing, or other relaxation techniques?
Do you have a hard time sticking to an exercise/activity program?
If you answered yes to any of the questions contact us today!