Environmental factors can have a negative or positive impact on your overall mood, health, and well-being. Over 3 million children under the age of five will die from environmental impacts, according to the World Health Organization. This startling statistic should inspire you to change your home or workplace environment. Having a healthy environment is vital to your life and well-being. Here are some ways that environmental factors can contribute to your health.
Economy and Jobs
The natural resources found in our environment have an impact on the economy and our job outlook. Increased production and consumption can lead to more jobs and wealth, according to the European Environment Agency. This increase in jobs and wealth can contribute to our overall quality of life and well-being.
Some of these determining factors can include water, food, housing, and energy and transportation. In Europe, 80% of freshwater goes directly to agriculture, reducing the amount for other sources. In addition, adding greenery and having open spaces can also improve the quality of our workplace. Making use of these natural resources can increase employee productivity and decrease absenteeism.
Your indoor air quality can have a negative impact on your overall mood and well-being. For example, mold, dust, and dander can contribute to chronic health issues like allergies, asthma, and sinuses. Secondhand smoke can pose a risk to households and workplaces. More than 50 of the chemicals found in cigarettes can cause cancer.
Poorly ventilated HVAC units, fireplaces, and stoves can lead to pulmonary disease. Exposure to chemicals such as formaldehyde and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can lead to asthma, cancer, allergic skin reactions, and respiratory problems.
Reducing your energy consumption prevents harmful substances from being released into the air. You could also install a solar system with a home battery to protect the air quality.
If the water from your natural source contains lead it can lead to damage to your brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. Groundwater that’s contaminated from chemicals, gasoline, or road salts can also be unsafe for human beings. Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that’s commonly used in hard plastic water bottles, can imitate your body’s hormone levels and increase reproductive problems.
Food Source and Quality
It’s important for you to know where your food is properly sourced. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), long-term use of pesticides can lead to birth defects, cancer, and nerve damage. Eating fish with high levels of mercury can cause mercury poisoning and lead to health problems such as anxiety, depression, memory problems, and body tremors.
Know where your food is sourced from. Don’t purchase food that travels a lot. Produce that’s distributed worldwide can lead to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which can lead to both chronic and respiratory health problems.
Sights and Sounds
Sometimes your home environment can have an impact on your mood and well-being. Too much noise can lead to stress, which can contribute to heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Workplace noise exposure is also a leading cause of hearing loss.
Visual noise, such as a dirty home, can lead to depression, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness. On the contrary, a pleasant and clean environment can lead to a happy and healthy lifestyle. It can stimulate the positive emotions in your brain and make you feel relaxed.
Understanding how your environment impacts your health can cause you to make changes within your home or workplace environment. Take walks in nature, drink plenty of water, and eat organic foods that are free from pesticides and chemicals. Turn your phone an hour before you sleep at night. These little changes can make a positive impact on your health and well-being.