In the current era, it is common to ask, “How does culture affect health?” More studies are pointing to the fact that our culture shapes our thinking, our behavior, and even how we feel about many aspects of life. It is becoming clear that this is true and that differences between cultures can account for why some people live productive lives while others struggle with their emotions, physical health, and mental wellness. These differences may account in large part for why some cultures are less likely to have widespread success in sports such as basketball and football.
The answers to “How does culture affect health?” are complex. One answer lies in understanding that a number of different aspects of life are affected by cultural beliefs. The differences among cultures may account for why some individuals may live longer than others. They may also explain why some cultures are more prone to physical illness and disease. Understanding these differences may provide insight as to why some people are happy and others are not.
What are some examples of these differences among cultures? For instance, are some cultures more likely to have widespread physical education, or are other people so devoted to physical activity that they are considered lazy? Do certain cultures hold people in higher regard than others for various reasons? Cultural differences can be studied and examined anywhere from the personal lives of individuals to the health of communities and nations.
As a result, a number of researchers are beginning to explore how the effects of culture on health can best be targeted. The results of these studies may point researchers in directions they had never considered before. The answers to how does culture affect health? may lie in examining how individual cultures promote good health.
One emerging theory regarding the relationship between culture and health is the notion that some cultures actually promote more physical activity than other cultures. This is based on the observation that some cultures tolerate and even encourage, outdoor sports and games such as soccer, while other cultures do not. It is possible that these outdoor activities promote social interaction and social healing within a community. This would explain why some cultures are better at promoting physical fitness than others are.
Perhaps we should examine how these social aspects of some cultures directly impact our health. For example, the difference between cultures in terms of smoking rates and alcohol consumption may be related to how physically active people in each culture are. There is some evidence that the social aspect of some cultures encourages greater physical activity, and this may contribute to why some cultures have a higher rate of chronic disease than others. Also, there is some evidence that the cultural beliefs that stress one’s social status and family obligation contribute to why some people are physically ill more often than others are. These beliefs may actually work against physical health.
Does culture affect us? The truth is that all of our cultures are incredibly different from each other. In addition, there are differences in what types of activities are considered “good” or “bad.” As you can see, the answer to how does culture affect health is a complex one. We really do not know how our cultures influence our health, although some scientists have studied how different cultures may impact our health.
One thing is clear – different cultures have different perspectives on how to exercise. This makes it difficult to come up with generalizations about how cultures affect health, but one thing is clear. People who live in very active cultures, such as those in the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Middle East, tend to have more active lifestyles. Those who live in very sedentary cultures, such as Canada, the United States, and Western Europe, do not practice very vigorous exercise.