On top of our lifestyle choices – physical inactivity, poor nutrition, smoking and excess alcohol consumption – we’re acknowledging a fifth: our interaction with the environment.
From noise pollution to air quality to the ongoing effects of climate change, our physical environment is linked closely with our overall wellbeing. In 2016, air pollution was the second-largest risk factor for developing NCDs globally, just behind smoking.
While mitigating the more wide-reaching consequences of negative interactions with the environment relies on broad societal changes, this doesn’t mean an individual can’t have a positive impact.
As British-Australian environmental explorer and Australian AIA Vitality Ambassador Tim Jarvis AM explains, “When faced with the enormity of some of these global issues, it can become demoralising. The best way to tackle them is to focus on what can be controlled. By breaking down these big challenges, whether it's health or climate change, into small manageable pieces you can have an influence over, people can get on with being part of the solution.”