Everything is interconnected. We are both whole and part, collective and individual. We are part of, and interact with our ecosystem. Human health and well-being is inseparable from social and environmental health and sustainability, therefore dependent on the quality of our society and our stewardship of the planet.
In the same way that health is affected by our environment, the cells within our bodies sometimes fail to thrive as a result of our actions (or inactions). Most illness and disease is incurred this way. It is an inescapable truth that when poor health results from lifestyle factors, appropriate management and a return to health, can be found by modifying those factors.
Our bodies will naturally tend towards health (homeostasis) if we allow them to. A comprehensive lifestyle change program is one way of achieving this, providing structure and support to change long-standing habits, or to address environmental or socioeconomic influences. By ‘lifestyle’, we mean the whole person; physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual; our health behaviours, society, environment and circumstances.
Lifestyle change starts with empowerment and enhancing self-efficacy to take charge of and improve our own health.
In keeping with our ‘everything is interconnected’ philosophy, the Lifestyle Medicine Foundation is not only concerned with health and well-being, but also ecology, environmental sustainability, social justice, health equity and social responsibility, whether it be at a personal, community, corporate or government level.
Aims & objectives
The Lifestyle Medicine Foundation’s purpose is to develop, conduct, promote and support initiatives that reduce the incidence and progression of preventable, chronic and lifestyle related conditions. Specifically, cardiovascular disease, stroke, lung diseases, Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, dementia, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and other conditions which share common behavioural and environmental risk factors and determinants such as poor diet and nutrition, lack of physical activity, smoking, alcohol overconsumption, inadequate sleep, and psychosocial stress, amongst other things.
To do this, the Foundation will develop, conduct, promote and support activities that:
- Educate, inform and increase awareness amongst healthcare consumers, healthcare practitioners and public health professionals of the benefits of Lifestyle Medicine as a preventative and therapeutic approach to chronic disease and for improved health and well-being.
- Advance understanding of the interconnectedness of human health and well-being with environmental health and sustainability, health literacy and health equity, social justice and responsibility, whether it be at a personal, community, organisational or government level.
- Advance research, in particular, initiatives that effectively translate existing research evidence from knowledge to action, that investigate new or improved approaches to reducing chronic disease and enhancing health and well-being, and that address accessibility, scalability and cost effectiveness.
- Result in new or improved approaches that operate effectively in the social context of every day lives to enhance care of patients with multiple and complex chronic conditions, and that target the behavioural, environmental and socioeconomic risk factors and determinants of chronic and lifestyle-related conditions.
Find out how you can become involved here.