Chronic and lifestyle-related conditions are a substantial global, national and individual health issue, now responsible for around 70% of deaths worldwide. This includes conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic musculoskeletal conditions and mental health conditions. While they appear to be quite different in the way they might affect you, many of these conditions share common risk factors that are largely preventable or treatable through lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle Medicine is growing in popularity around the world and aims to address the challenges faced by our society and our health system. It focuses on the root causes of the problem by addressing behavioural, social and environmental drivers of disease. Lifestyle Medicine also aims to empower individuals to manage and improve their own health.
Lifestyle Medicine typically focuses on six pillars of health:
- Physical activity
- Smoking cessation
- Alcohol harm reduction
- Sleep and stress
- Social connection
However, it also addresses the many societal and environmental drivers of health and disease which include things such as social isolation, loss of culture and identity, health inequity, social injustice.
Lifestyle Medicine is a multidisciplinary approach to health, which means that many different types of professionals are working together to change the way we manage, treat and prevent chronic conditions. This includes medical professionals, allied health professionals, public health professionals, health care executives, researchers, scientists and educators.
There are now Lifestyle Medicine associations in many countries around the world, including Australia. The Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM) advocates for Lifestyle Medicine and provides education, training and professional development for doctors, allied health practitioners, public health professionals, researchers and educators in Lifestyle Medicine. They also aim to educate and inform members of the public how to prevent and better manage and treat chronic and lifestyle-related conditions. You can find out more by visiting: Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine
Health professionals can also undergo further training and become board-certified in Lifestyle Medicine. You can search for a board-certified health professional here: Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine: Certified in Lifestyle Medicine
For more information read following article: Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine: What is Lifestyle Medicine and how do I get it from my GP?