Physical health, mental well-being, and emotional stability are essential components of human health. These elements are not dependent only on internal factors. There are never-ending external stimuli that have a direct impact on these crucial elements of health. Therefore, we have to work on two-sided fronts to ensure a healthy mind and body. It might be easier to control the internal factors, but environmental challenges are uncontrollable and complex. Even if you try to control them, it requires immense effort and opportunity costs.
An unhealthy environment severely impacts our health and well-being, often leading to chronic, irreversible issues. According to World Health Organization, an unhealthy environment and related externalities kill almost 12.6 million people each year. Nearly 1 in 4 deaths around the world link to an unhealthy environment. Intentionally or unintentionally, people are continuously exposed to harmful elements present close to them in their immediate surroundings. These elements constantly inflict life-threatening dangers on people.
It is imperative to determine the impact of an unhealthy environment on our health, whether it’s the work, household, or outside environment. It will enable us to control and manage the adverse effects to our best capacity. Awareness is the first step in moving towards a positive change. Therefore, this article discusses the five impacts of an unhealthy environment on health and mental well-being. It will discuss the environment in the entirety of natural, workplace, and household environment.
Table of Contents
Chronic Illnesses – Natural Environment
We tend to think that only cigarette smokers or people working in factories emitting smoke are in danger of developing chronic issues like lung cancer. However, in reality, we inhale a significant amount of smoke merely by living in a metropolitan area with all sorts of vehicles spewing smoke. Environmental pollution due to vehicle emissions and factory waste has become an alarming health concern of our era. People are developing various chronic issues from a very early age at the merciless hands of the environment.
Moreover, unhealthy lifestyle patterns and habits are also a dire cause of rapidly increasing chronic issues among the masses. Today’s dynamic and fast-evolving world has severe repercussions on our health and well-being. Fortunately, global healthcare organizations are stepping up to curb the alarming issues by introducing various strategies and policies. Health workers are also focusing on understanding and mitigating emerging problems and health challenges. For instance, EMT professionals are seeking BLS recertification, given the need to master the latest information and remain updated with changing trends.
Less Productivity – Workplace Environment
As mentioned above, we aren’t only referring to the outside environment but also the workplace environment. A comfortable working environment, feasible social surroundings, and a healthy atmosphere are essential components to ensure high productivity. Therefore, an unhealthy environment has severe downsides for the productivity of an individual. It is not limited to just the office environment. An unhealthy environment in social surroundings also impacts family life. Once the family is affected, it has serious problems for the overall well-being.
An unhealthy environment at work reduces motivation to work while at home; it pushes us toward isolation. Negative externalities propel exhaustion which disturbs mental health and overall well-being. It impacts a person emotionally as well as mentally, promoting social ills. People start indulging in harmful practices and activities. These evils then spread in society. Ultimately, an unhealthy environment creates a domino effect of spreading negativity in the community.
Drug Abuse – Household Environment
Drug abuse is one of the most common issues of modern-day societies, engulfing our youth. Youngsters are destroying their life because of drug abuse. According to a WID report, about 585,000 youngsters risk their lives each year due to drug abuse. Several things compel someone towards drugs. The most worrying one is an unhealthy environment at home, having the natural tendency to push people toward substance abuse. Many teenagers become victims of addiction because of a toxic household environment stemming from a dysfunctional family. The environment has enough reinforcers to diverge someone from the right track and take them toward drug abuse. An unhealthy environment behaves as a breeding ground for such evils.
People find an escape from drugs. It acts as a solid force to pull people into drug abuse. An unhealthy environment lacks the necessary guides to stop people from detracting.
High Disease Rate – Global Issues
An unhealthy environment is constantly brimming with diseases. According to a report by Rockefeller Foundation,illnesses caused by an unhealthy environment are responsible for 25% of global deaths. Pollution, global warming, and other challenges like the recent COVID pandemic are the brainchildren of an unhealthy environment. They pose enormous challenges for the worldwide population, as discussed above.
We see that diseases are rising at an unprecedented rate. Incredibly, they have been challenging the global health sector for the last decade or so. The leading reason is increasing pollution and other determinants of an unhealthy environment, affecting our lives directly and indirectly. They have made so many different aspects of our life difficult and complex, adding more subtleties to the already entangled life.
Life is undoubtedly a valuable gift. It is precious, and everyone strives hard to ensure its longevity. Environmental impacts are the most significant element for keeping it healthy. Mental, emotional, and physical well-being is necessary to live a vigorous life. An unhealthy environment is the biggest enemy of all these positive factors, whether it’s the home, work, or outside environment. Therefore, we must fight against all the issues adversely affecting our environment. Otherwise, we will never achieve the right quality of life.