What Is Lifestyle?
A lifestyle is a way of life established by a society, culture or group that describes how people spend their time. This includes patterns of social relations, consumption, entertainment and dress. It also reflects an individual’s attitudes and values. In other words, lifestyle is a person’s set of habits that determine their happiness and fulfillment in life. Some examples of these habits include eating healthily, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, visiting the dentist and doctor, not using drugs or alcohol and having good friends. A healthy lifestyle is important to help prevent diseases and promote a long, productive and happy life. While some researchers have defined lifestyle in a variety of ways, most agree that it is a combination of determinant intangible and tangible factors. Tangible factors relate to demographic variables such as age, gender and ethnicity while intangible ones refer to an individual’s behavioural orientations, preferences and values. Earlier studies of lifestyle focused on the analysis of social structure. Thorstein Veblen, for example, asserted that specific schemes of 'conspicuous consumption’ are adopted by classes seeking to distinguish themselves from other strata they identify as inferior and others attempting to emulate them (Rapoport 2001). Max Weber developed this perspective further by considering lifestyles as the distinctive elements of status groups based on the recognition of prestige. Some examples of unhealthy lifestyles include smoking cigarettes, overusing medications, not exercising and spending too much time sitting down. These habits can have an impact on a young person’s health and wellbeing. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, teenagers should eat well, get enough sleep, be active with friends and stay away from drugs and alcohol. One of the most significant lifestyle changes a teen can make is switching from watching TV to going out and being active with their friends. Having regular physical activity can improve their sleep, mood and self-esteem. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure and help them maintain a healthy weight. The place in which an individual lives also tends to influence their lifestyle. Affluent individuals may prefer to live in cosmopolitan cities while lower and middle class people often favor rural areas. Rich people often travel in their own vehicles while lower and middle class individuals often use public transport to reach their destinations. The type of work that a person does will also determine his or her lifestyle. People who do not like their jobs, or feel they are undervalued, tend to look for new opportunities. Those who enjoy their work and like the challenges of a particular job, on the other hand, will stick with it even if it is not particularly lucrative or well-remunerated. Affluent people tend to prefer a variety of holidays and pastimes. They are also often interested in music and art. They may also enjoy traveling, whether domestically or internationally. Middle and lower classes often prefer traditional vacations such as camping. They may also be interested in cultural and sporting events.