Lifestyle is one of the most important factors that separate a society into different groups. It can be described as the cultural attitudes, interests, behaviors, and orientations of a certain individual, social group, or nation. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his 1930 book, The Case of Miss R. With the implied meaning of “the basic nature of a human being as established at very early childhood”.
The word has since become more widely used, although it still holds significant meanings for various disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, and even family life. As stated above, the word lifestyle is used to refer to a particular type of behavior or interest. For example, a lifestyle based on hunting and consumption of hunted animals. This type of behavior can easily be separated from the word lifestyle, which can then be used to describe a number of individual interests and activities.
Lifestyle, as it pertains to individual psychology is basically the way of living an active lifestyle. The value of a lifestyle can be measured through several different measures. One would be happiness in life, which could also be measured by various questionnaires, such as theatisfaction scale from the EQ-i ( Fryberg, 1979), or the satisfaction scale from the ORQ-i (van de Weijeren, van der Goes, & Prins, 2000). Satisfaction or the positive aspect of life style is often correlated with time period and economic status (van de Weijeren, unpublished data). Income and wealth are also correlated with life style and happiness (van de Weijeren, unpublished data). These findings are congruent with the notion that lifestyles developed at different stages of development are correlated with income and wealth in adulthood.
Theories suggest that some individuals, in order to promote growth and optimal psychological well-being, adopt an unhealthy lifestyle or an inactive lifestyle. An unhealthy lifestyle includes smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, insufficient exercise, and use of drugs and/or substances. In contrast, an active lifestyle involves physical activity and leisure activities. This type of lifestyle is considered healthy because one’s health is enhanced and he develops positive interpersonal relationships, a sense of personal worth, and a sense of control over environmental variables.
The differences between active and passive lifestyles are rooted in their characteristics of consumption. The active lifestyles include sports, hobbies, and outdoor recreational activities. These types of lifestyles are associated with a high rate of death and injury and low rate of life-spans. Conversely, the passive lifestyles include occupations that do not involve contact with natural environments and most of these are also low-risk occupations. Examples of passive leisure activities include watching television, reading, writing, socializing, or sitting on the couch.
The concept of the word lifestyle has different meanings for different individuals. For instance, for some, it means that a person’s choices and lifestyle are under control and there is little room for spontaneity, while for others it means that you make your own decisions as regards your consumption. The key to living a healthy lifestyle lies in your ability to adopt an appropriate balance between your lifestyle choices and the environment you live in. You can achieve this balance through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoidance of substance abuse. If you would like to live an active life with low risk of chronic diseases, then the best way forward is to adopt the healthy lifestyle described in the Alfred Adler book, “The Social Fabric of the Modern Economy: The Economics of Healthy Lifestyles”, by Alfred D. Berber, Ph.D.