Friday, June 5, 2009

Environmental Wellness Health Assessment

Where and how you live has a big environmental impact on wellness. Environmental wellness is both the effect that your surroundings have on your health and wellbeing and the steps that you take to protect your environment. Your home and work environments should sustain and nourish you and provide the opportunity to live a healthy life. In turn, your actions should sustain the health of your environment; both the natural environment and your workplace, home and possessions.

We are part of the natural world and so need to interact with it in order to be whole. If you are physically able, get out and walk in the elements and natural surroundings at least daily. If you are housebound then try to bring nature to you through houseplants, a natural view from your window, or sitting in the open air for a while.

Many other things have an environmental impact on wellness. Clutter or broken or malfunctioning objects drain your energy, as do noisy or polluted environments, or unfriendly relationships with neighbours.

You can decrease your impact on the environment by reducing the number of items you buy or use, reusing things for a similar or different purpose, and selling, giving away or recycling what you cannot use.

Some question to ask when doing your environmental wellness health assessment are:

1. Do you like your home and the surrounding area and community?
2. Do you interact with the natural world every day?
3. Do you know your neighbours and have cordial relations with them?
4. Is your living-space neat and well-ordered with no broken or malfunctioning items?
5. Do you reduce, reuse and recycle?
6. Do you conserve water and protect the groundwater from pollution by using non-toxic biodegradable cleaning agents, compost rather than fertilizers, natural pest control, and other methods.

Score your environmental wellness health assessment by taking the number of yes answers and expressing them as a percentage of the total number of questions. Then put a line at the level representing that percentage in the environmental section of the wellness wheel – see how to do a wellness health assessment.

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