When you hear about the effects of lifestyle on health, you probably think of things like smoking, stress, inactivity or obesity. Those certainly are well-known modifiable health risk factors for a range of diseases.
But there are other ways that your lifestyle can affect your health. Here are 5 negative lifestyle factors that may prevent you getting necessary healthcare.
Work, family, community commitments, study – life is undeniably busy. With only 24 hours in the day, it’s inevitable that some things have to be put off until tomorrow or next week or next month.
Busyness can be an unhealthy lifestyle. Juggling too many competing responsibilities inevitably leads to stress, which itself increases the risk of many serious health conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, asthma, gastrointestinal problems and Alzheimer's disease.
Being too busy also means that you probably delay getting medical care because there’s no space in your calendar. You end up constantly rearranging medical appointments or letting them fall by the wayside. You just don’t have the time to drive to the clinic, find a park and sit twiddling your thumbs in a waiting room. You don’t have the hours to spare. Which leads to the next point...
It’s admirable to care for others. It’s the love that makes families and communities thrive. But you can’t keep giving from an empty cup. Non-stop care for others at the expense of your own needs is an unhealthy lifestyle.
To avoid burnout, you need to create some time for your own refreshment. Here are 40 self-care ideas for practical people. Take special note of #20!
Travelling to a clinic can take long enough if you live in the city. It may need a full day of driving plus an overnight stay if you’re living in a remote area.
That’s a significant commitment of time and money, especially if you also lose income by going or have no-one to fill in for you if you’re away from home.
No wonder people from rural and remote areas have higher rates of ill-health and lower life expectancy than their city counterparts. It’s so much harder to access the care you need from GPs and specialists.
If you’re working long hours, you can rarely get to health appointments during business hours. Extended opening hours don’t always help either when you’re snowed under and already eating dinner al desko several nights a week.
Shift work makes it hard to plan ahead, whether you work in a hospital, a cinema or a factory. An uncertain schedule means you’re endlessly rescheduling medical appointments (assuming you ever made them in the first place).
Telehealth has been around for many years but it wasn’t widely used. Then came COVID-19. With patients and practitioners locked down, telehealth came to the rescue, enabling ongoing access to healthcare without the risks of a face-to-face consultation.
If you already run most of your life from your smartphone, it’s not that big a leap to try a virtual healthcare appointment.
But it is undeniably different. Every healthcare appointment you’ve ever had was probably in person. It’s understandable to be nervous about trying telehealth. There’s been more than enough change already this year!
That said, there is a reason for telehealth’s surging popularity: convenience.
Slotting a phone call or videoconference into your working day is much less time consuming than booking out a couple of hours to go to an appointment.
So, if you haven’t tried telehealth, why not give it a go? It’s as simple as taking a phone call or clicking on a link.
So, if your lifestyle means you can’t get to medical appointments but you’re hesitant to try telehealth, then what’s the answer? How do you get the health care you need?
You use Therago.
Therago connects you to a network of allied health professionals who provide convenient care after hours, in your own home, or through telehealth (when you’re ready to try it).
Therago means your kid’s speech therapist can come to you. Your physiotherapist can treat you in your living room. You can see your dietitian online or talk to your psychologist on the weekend.
Therago helps you overcome the negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle by improving your access to healthcare in a way that suits you best. It’s a modern approach to healthcare. Sign up here.
All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion.