Lifestyle is a way used by people, groups and nations and is formed in specific geographical,
economic, political, cultural and religious text. Lifestyle is referred to the characteristics
of inhabitants of a region in special time and place. It includes day to day behaviors
and functions of individuals in job, activities, fun and diet.
In recent decades, life style as an important factor of health is more interested
by researchers. According to WHO, 60% of related factors to individual health and
quality of life are correlated to lifestyle (1). Millions of people follow an unhealthy
lifestyle. Hence, they encounter illness, disability and even death. Problems like
metabolic diseases, joint and skeletal problems, cardio-vascular diseases, hypertension,
overweight, violence and so on, can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. The relationship
of lifestyle and health should be highly considered.
Today, wide changes have occurred in life of all people. Malnutrition, unhealthy diet,
smoking, alcohol consuming, drug abuse, stress and so on, are the presentations of
unhealthy life style that they are used as dominant form of lifestyle. Besides, the
lives of citizens face with new challenges. For instance, emerging new technologies
within IT such as the internet and virtual communication networks, lead our world
to a major challenge that threatens the physical and mental health of individuals.
The challenge is the overuse and misuse of the technology.
Therefore, according to the existing studies, it can be said that: lifestyle has a
significant influence on physical and mental health of human being. There are different
forms of such influences. Consanguinity in some ethnicity is a dominant form of life
style that it leads to the genetic disorders. Reformation of this unhealthy life style
is a preventing factor for decreasing the rate of genetic diseases (2). In some countries,
the overuse of drugs is a major unhealthy life style. Iran is one of the 20 countries
using the most medications. They prefer medication to other intervention. Furthermore,
in 15–40% of cases they use medications about without prescription (3). Pain relievers,
eye drops and antibiotics have the most usage in Iran. While self-medications such
as antibiotics have a negative effect on the immune system, if the individual would
be affected by infection, antibiotics will not be effective in treatment. Overall,
10 percent of those who are self-medicated will experience severe complications such
as drug resistance. Sometimes drug allergy is so severe that it can cause death (4).
Finally, variables of lifestyle that influence on health can be categorized in some
Diet and Body Mass Index (BMI): Diet is the greatest factor in lifestyle and has a
direct and positive relation with health. Poor diet and its consequences like obesity
is the common healthy problem in urban societies. Unhealthy lifestyle can be measured
by BMI. Urban lifestyle leads to the nutrition problems like using fast foods and
poor foods, increasing problems like cardiovascular (5).
Exercise: For treating general health problems, the exercise is included in life style
(6). The continuous exercise along with a healthy diet increases the health. Some
studies stress on the relation of active life style with happiness (7, 8).
Sleep: One of the bases of healthy life is the sleep. Sleep cannot be apart from life.
Sleep disorders have several social, psychological, economical and healthy consequences.
Lifestyle may effect on sleep and sleep has a clear influence on mental and physical
Sexual behavior: Normal sex relation is necessary in healthy life. Dysfunction of
sex relation is the problem of most of societies and it has a significant effect on
mental and physical health. It can be said that dysfunctional sex relation may result
in various family problems or sex related illnesses like; AIDS
Substance abuse: Addiction is considered as an unhealthy life style. Smoking and using
other substance may result in various problems; cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer,
brain injury. According to the resent studies in Iran, 43% of females and 64% of males
experience the use of hubble-bubble (10). A longitudinal study shows that 30% of people
between 18–65 years old smoke cigarette permanently (11).
Medication abuse: It is a common form of using medication in Iran and it is considered
as an unhealthy life style. Unhealthy behaviors in using medication are as followed:
self-treatment, sharing medication, using medications without prescription, prescribing
too many drugs, prescribing the large number of each drug, unnecessary drugs, bad
handwriting in prescription, disregard to the contradictory drugs, disregard to harmful
effects of drugs, not explaining the effects of drugs.
Application of modern technologies: Advanced technology facilitates the life of human
beings. Misuse of technology may result in unpleasant consequences. For example, using
of computer and other devices up to midnight, may effect on the pattern of sleep and
it may disturb sleep. Addiction to use mobile phone is related to depression symptoms
Recreation: Leisure pass time is a sub factor of life style. Neglecting leisure can
bring negative consequences. With disorganized planning and unhealthy leisure, people
endanger their health.
Study: Study is the exercise of soul. Placing study as a factor in lifestyle may lead
to more physical and mental health. For example, prevalence of dementia, such as Alzheimer's
disease is lowerin educated people. Study could slow process of dementia.
With a look at existing studies in health domain, 9 key factors can be suggested for
healthy life style (Fig. 1). In regard to each factor, the systematic planning in
micro and macro level can be established. It can provide a social and individual healthy
Nine key factors that forming healthy life style