What is quality of life?
Despite being a difficult concept to explain, most people intuitively understand what quality of life is. In other words, although the meaning of quality of life is sometimes not apparent to some people, its notion is clear to everyone. Most people equate the quality of life with “feeling good”. This notion of quality of life goes against the main factors that influence it, as we will see later: health, work, and the environment.
But after all, what does it mean to have a quality of life? If the answer to this question is essential, what we are all looking for and addressing throughout this article will be the central question: how to improve the quality of life?
Quality of life concept
The concept of quality of life is comprehensive, comprising physical health and the psychological state, independence, social relationships at home, school and work, and even its relationship with the environment. There are, of course, other factors that influence it, but let’s start by looking at what quality of life means for the World Health Organization (WHO).
The concept of quality of life is directly associated with self-esteem and personal well-being. It comprises several aspects: functional capacity, socioeconomic level, emotional state, social interaction, intellectual activity, self-care, family support, health status, cultural, ethical and religious values, lifestyle, job and daily activities satisfaction, and the environment in which one lives.
Quality of life – definition
For WHO, the definition of quality of life is “the perception that an individual has about his position in life, within the context of the cultural and value systems in which he is inserted and about his objectives, expectations, standards and concerns”. It is a definition that includes the influence of physical and psychological health, level of independence, social relationships, personal beliefs and their relationships with inherent characteristics of the respective environment in the subjective assessment of the individual quality of life. In this sense, we can affirm that quality of life is defined as “the individual’s satisfaction about their daily life”.
We must not confuse the quality of life with the standard of living. Many people have the wrong notion of quality of life, confusing the terms. Standard of living is a measure that calculates the quality and quantity of goods and services available.
Quality of life and health
Quality of life and health are inseparable terms. Quality of life is associated with health, so that many authors do not distinguish them from one another. For them, health and quality of life are the same things. Health is not the only factor that influences our quality of life. However, it is of crucial importance.
Generally, health and quality of life are two very related themes since health contributes to improving the quality of life of individuals, and this is fundamental for an individual or community to be healthy. But it does not only mean physical and mental health but also that these people are at ease with themselves and with life, with the people around them. In short, having the quality of life is in harmony with several factors.
About health, quality of life is often considered in terms of how it can be negatively affected, that is, the occurrence of a debilitating disease that is not life-threatening, a life-threatening disease. Of life, the natural decline of an older adult’s health, mental decline, chronic disease processes, etc. All these situations are castrating our quality of life.
In this sense, healthy living has a profound impact on people’s quality of life.
Quality of life and physical health
Physical health affects, obviously, our quality of life. For example, there is a relationship between physical activity, improved health status and quality of life. Likewise, there is a relationship between proper nutrition and quality of life. Quality of life and healthy eating are concepts that are closely related. Having a healthy and balanced diet is essential for the individual’s well-being. When your body receives the ideal amounts of nutrients and vitamins it needs, your physical health improves and your quality of life increases.
In summary, if we can improve our physical health condition towards a healthier life through proper health promotion, we will improve our quality of life.
Quality of life and mental health
The concept of quality of life has gained increasing importance in mental health and healthcare, increasing its importance in medical discourse and practice.
It is no coincidence that the definition given by the WHO for health is broad. She defines it as “the state of complete physical and mental well-being”. Often, when thinking about health and quality of life, some people leave mental health aside.
However, mental health is of enormous importance today. We are witnessing an increase in cases of chronic stress and burnout, anxiety and depression, in addition to many other psychological and emotional problems.
A person with poor mental health, depressed, for example, has great difficulty in maintaining love relationships, performing functions at work and even raising children. A person with emotional problems can influence all family members. A person with affected mental health is more prone to addiction to drugs and alcohol, contracting infectious diseases, develop allergies, autoimmune diseases, etc. There are, however, many other harmful consequences when we neglect mental and emotional health and well-being.
Taking care of mental health is much simpler than it sounds, maintain good relationships with people around us, have a satisfying love life, don’t dwell on past problems, don’t be too demanding with yourself, forgive yourself and forgive others, laugh whenever you can cry when you need to and love. If you find it challenging to do this, it is best to seek help from a professional.
Being in good mental health is being in balance with your inner world and the world around you. It is being at peace with yourself and with others.
Stress and quality of life
Stress is at present a severe problem with unquestionable implications for quality of life. Problems will be more intense depending on the level of stress the individual is subject to, the causes that gave rise to it and the symptoms perceived.
Environment and quality of life
The environment brings several benefits to man, one of which is, without a doubt, improving his quality of life. The quality of life and the environment are, therefore, two inseparable terms.
The environment concerns everything around us, so our quality of life is directly associated with the quality of the surrounding environment. Thus, the preservation of the environment is an essential factor to increase people’s quality of life.
For example, imagine a city with a lot of garbage, pollution, and no green spaces. Indeed, they will be factors, on the one hand, likely to cause illnesses, and on the other, they do not produce feelings of well-being in people. For example, when choosing to do it in a green space, a physical activity practitioner combines the benefits of physical exercise with a place of fresh air, making their activity much more pleasant and healthy. When a person performs a massage and can enjoy the sounds of nature simultaneously, they can get even more out of their moment of relaxation.
Quality of life and respect for the environment
Today more than ever, we notice a growing concern with a man to have a quality life.
Among several other factors, preserving and respecting the environment to ensure our quality of life is necessary. For that, we must have more assertive and protective attitudes to make our habitat better both for us and for future generations.
Above all, when we talk about the environment, we will become aware that we live organisms in harmony with nature. Our quality of life depends on the state in which the environment is. That is, we need air, water, food, essential elements for survival, which is why an ecologically balanced environment that guarantees its sustainability is essential.
In this way, the quality of life depends on the quality of the environment. Moreover, it does not mean the quantity of life. Therefore, there should be an emphasis on the valuation and meaning of existence, which must take into account the needs of all human beings feel to live decently.
Nor can we speak of health unrelated to the environment because whenever the environment is improved, man’s physical and mental health will be protected.
Quality of life at work
It is not by chance that many companies and organizations are concerned with the quality of life at work nowadays. As we know, it is at work that we spend a lot of our time. We often spend more time in contact with co-workers than even with our own family. For these reasons, the quality of life at work became fundamental in modern times. When we refer to work, we refer to activities carried out in companies, organizations, at school, etc.
The worker’s quality of life is generally observed, taking into account the quality of life in companies and their productivity and aspects of the worker’s life that are not directly linked to their work. However, some recent controversies use the terminology “worker’s quality of life”, making it clear that quality of life is not limited only to the place and time of work, but also to the relationship with several other aspects, namely, personal satisfaction, family relationships, leisure opportunities, etc.
What is quality of life at work?
When we talk about the quality of life at work, we refer to the benefits and harms of the work environment for the individual. The goal is to develop work environments that support the organization’s individual and economic health.
Quality of life concept at work
As we have seen, quality of life is an expression that refers to man’s living conditions in various areas, namely, physical, mental, psychological and emotional well-being, social relationships such as family and friends and also health, education and other aspects that influence human life. The concept of quality of life at work refers to these conditions in the workplace, often also referred to as quality of life in companies.
Importance of quality of life at work
The importance of quality of life at work is growing in the current economic and social context, taking into account the importance of employment in people’s lives and how an excellent organizational environment can help manage people and improve the productivity of companies and organizations.
It becomes clear that it is impossible to dissociate the human side from the professional side since man is endowed with individual skills and abilities that can be changed due to the conditions of the environment in which he is inserted.
In this sense, over time, companies began to reflect on the well-being of their employees and the individual productivity of each one.
Given this new reality, the term quality of life at work began to be debated and implemented in organizations. These measures aimed to improve the quality of life at work, fundamentally, its employees’ physical and mental health.
The term quality of life in companies started to be seen as an agent of improvement in people management. Motivated and healthy employees are strictly related to an improved work environment and, consequently, productivity.
Currently, professionals in the job market are looking for more than a good salary and benefits; they are also looking for a humanized and good work environment. If the worker feels comfort and well-being in the workplace, he will feel motivated, improving his productivity.
Work – physical and mental health
Changes in lifestyles, changes in the labour market, and leisure time strongly impact people’s health. Work and leisure should be a source of health for populations. The way society organizes work should help create a healthy society. Health promotion generates safe, stimulating, satisfying and pleasant living and working conditions, improving the quality of life at work and in companies.
Unfortunately, we all know that this is not always the case. The changes that society has been subject to now demand an excellent physical, mental and social adaptation. Competitiveness, pressure to obtain results, accumulation of information and tasks arising from an increasingly globalized world, lack of time for leisure, among other factors, shape the modern world and inevitably entail consequences.
Mental health leads to several types of changes, namely, the functioning of the daily routine, ability to work, quality of life at work, the performance of family and social roles and involvement in leisure activities. Due to its diagnosis, prolonged treatments, and the uncertainty of the prognosis, mental illness is a risk to the worker’s quality of life and those around him.
Work is one of the leading causes of stress today. The stress, in turn, exerts a direct influence on job performance and productivity.
Chronic stress tends to trigger intense psychosocial problems. For these reasons, stress and quality of life at work are so present in workers’ daily lives.
Quality of life programs at work
For these reasons, companies are increasingly aware of the importance of quality of life and its relationship with productivity. For this reason, they tend to implement quality of life programs at work, which aim to improve workers’ conditions.
These programs consist of actions carried out by the company, which involve the implementation of improvements and innovations both in terms of management and changes of a technological nature or others in the work environment. For example, improving ergonomics, improving weather conditions, encouraging better interpersonal relationships, providing health care and children conditions, etc. The quality of life in organizations can be frankly improved if these measures are well designed and implemented.
As in the personal aspect, the quality of life at work is essential for the development of employees, both inside and outside the company environment. In this sense, it is essential to emphasize the social role of organizations informing citizens who are more aware of their role in society.
Quality of life at work tips
The attitude of workers on an individual basis also strongly impacts the quality of life and work environment. Here are some tips to improve the quality of life at work :
- Focus – A professional focused and committed to his work suffers less harmful interference from the environment;
- Stay away from “gossip” – Small talk about the lives of colleagues and superiors only fuels a hostile environment. Get away from them and try to eliminate this behaviour from your day-to-day;
- Learn to work in a team – Teamwork is one of the primary skills required by companies. Collaborate with your colleagues and learn from them too;
- Meet deadlines and schedules – Fulfill your tasks with quality and within deadlines, avoid unnecessary stress, and improve your performance, preventing you from being questioned about it.
- Cultivate good relationships – Maintain good interpersonal relationships with your peers and superiors. It makes the environment better and healthier.
Quality of life in old age
Quality of life is not limited to time. Many people are concerned and wonder about the best way to have a good quality of life in the present. However, quality of life must also be seen as a future and lasting goal. The longevity is increasing, but sometimes with a reduced quality of life. Many medical treatments allow us to improve our health condition, however often at the expense of therapies that weaken us and reduce our quality of life.
We must, therefore, seek good quality of life at all stages of our life, aware that it is in the elderly that we often observe the most significant problems.
The choices we make throughout life, such as the type of food, exercise, working conditions, the environment we live in, etc., are all factors that will influence not only our longevity and health but also our current and future quality of life.
Given the demographic changes that began to occur in the last century, which show us an increasingly ageing population, it is imperative to provide the elderly with more prolonged survival and good quality of life.
Due to the subjectivity that the concept of quality of life of the elderly entails, it is necessary to guide policies for successful ageing, which for most older adults is related to well-being, happiness, personal fulfilment, in short. , the quality of life in this age group (the third age).
How to improve the quality of life
So that we can guarantee a good quality of life in the future, we must start worrying about maintaining healthy habits, namely:
Taking care of the body.
A balanced diet.
I have time for leisure activities and several other habits that provide a person with well-being and quality of life.
Health promotion is the process that aims to increase the capacity of individuals to control their health to improve it. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, the individual must identify and fulfil his desires, satisfy his needs and modify or adapt to the environment.
Being healthy is a path that is traced daily in the smallest choices we make. Choose a fuller life and be surprised by the differences that some gestures can make.
Being healthy is not limited to what we see in our bodies. Feeling good and happy is an integral part of health and well-being and should not be overlooked.
Find time for yourself and your loved ones, engage in new hobbies and make leisure time as important as the time you spend at work. Combine health with beauty. While it’s essential that we like our reflection in the mirror, it’s also important not to fall into extremism. Crazy diets can not only be dangerous, but they also become difficult to comply with.
See here for more information about beauty and health.
Learn to fight stress. With this, it will help reduce stress levels, decreasing the probability of suffering from high blood pressure, allergies, infections caused by low immunity, etc., and improving the quality of life.
Healthy living, health promotion
In this article, we showed you all about quality of life. The writing of this text on quality of life aims to alert people to the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle and its implications for their current and future quality of life.
If you share our values about the importance of health promotion, help us get the message across by sharing this text on social media.