Staying healthy is extremely important in this modern world. However, many people find that despite their best efforts they just cannot stay as fit as they should be. Many people dream of change in their bodies, though the best way to do this is simply to learn more about health and about the human body. Health education is extremely important, and an often overlooked factor when it comes to maintaining optimum levels of fitness.
Whilst many people are interested in staying healthy, recent surveys have suggested the American population are actually extremely unaware of what it really takes to keep us healthy. This could be due to the fact that not enough information is available on health, or it could be down to the fact that people just don’t know how to interpret the information that is there. Many modern illnesses are a result of stress, of our diet, of our environment, and most importantly of our attitude. There are many unhealthy behaviors which we need to try change order to stay healthy. The only way we can do this is to learn exactly what is healthy and what is detrimental to a whole.
Health education is not something that will come to us, it is something that we have to actively seek. Many of us are connected through the Internet to a vast amount of information at our fingertips (this includes a over its 60% of the population of America). However, whilst there are hundreds of websites detailing information on health and the human body, many people are not actively seeking out this information. These sites or just not for medical students, they’re for anyone who is willing to learn about the health of their bodies. For example there are images, videos, articles, and the regularly updated blogs detailing many, many ways in which to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Health comes from many different sources. We should learn about what is a healthy diet in order to keep our bodies healthy, but we should also combine this with creating an exercise regimen that works for us as an individual and learning about possible risks. Understanding cardiac physiology it helps us to understand about the heart, and therefore about the blood that shows throughout our bodies. Heart problems are one of the most common killers in today’s society, so this is just one way in which you learn about health in order to prevent problems in later life.
Health education is not difficult. You can either choose to read about the specific health problems, or you can learn about human health in general. Whether your family has a history of illness, or you are just interested to know how you can prevent yourself from getting one, the information is all there at your fingertips if you choose to look for it. Staying healthy does not have to be difficult, and health education is just part of a process by which we can incorporate health into everyday lives. Our body is complex, but learning about how to look after it is not.
As the focus on wellness and preventative care becomes the norm in order to reduce healthcare costs, colleges and universities can also get involved by promoting health education courses that are already available on campus. Post-secondary institutions whose primary mission is to graduate students, who are workforce ready, should include a wellness component within the course of study. Many of the people investing in wellness education programs are employers seeking to reduce their own healthcare expenses for employees. Employers invest in wellness programs for their employees to boost morale and increase productivity. Workplace wellness programs not only help to increase productivity and ultimately affect a company’s revenue, but the programs also help to cut long-term healthcare costs for employers that provide healthcare benefits. One study indicated that for every $1.00 spent on wellness programs, healthcare costs are reduced by $3.37. In addition the cost of absenteeism is reduced by $2.73 for every $1.00 spent; with over 130 million individuals in the workforce, wellness programs can save employers a significant amount of money each year (Baicker et. al, 2010).
Many post-secondary institutions engage directly with business leaders and community organizations to create relevant programs based on the labor needs of the community. Health education courses can play an important role in helping to prepare students for the workforce because the classes can be used as a form of preventative care. Most health education courses are already offered on campus as part of the general curriculum requirements or as an elective option. Providing health education courses as part of a workforce readiness model can help employers save more money in addition to what they are already spending to create their own wellness programs. Offering a unique set of courses tailored to the needs of the employer that include a wellness component also provides post-secondary institutions with a unique selling point for job training programs.
Health education courses not only act as a form of preventative care, but the courses also help to promote critical thinking, health advocacy, communication skills, self-care, build self-esteem, promote self-awareness, goal setting, civic engagement, health literacy, self-efficacy, decision-making, and problem solving skills. The curriculum in health education courses provides students with diverse learning experiences on a variety of topics such as wellness as a lifestyle, stress management, mental health, sexual and reproductive health, relationship dynamics, communication skills, infection control, environmental health, and injury prevention. In addition, health education courses teach students about drug and alcohol abuse as well as prevention strategies. Currently drug and alcohol abuse costs employers $276 billion dollars a year in lost productivity (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009). Health education courses can play a vital role in teaching students the necessary skills to function in the workplace and in everyday life.