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Health And Sustainability Essay

1573 words - 7 pages

In an era when the resources for health promotion are limited and the expectations as to what can be achieved are high, sustainability has become a familiar catch-cry (Swerissen & Crisp. 2014.) Health and sustainability are parallel challenges (Cunningham et al. 2010) as the economic, social and environmental characteristics of a sustainable society are the same as those of a healthy society (Griffiths 2006.). The precise definition of sustainability is still subject to debate. It has no single or universally accepted definition. It is not easily captured in a concise definition and means different things to different people or concepts (Auditor General of Victoria 2004). In this case sustainability will be the development aiming to maintain or sustain conditions in order to provide improved long-term economic health and a stable social and cultural quality system to preserve and protect the environment (Gremm et al. 2008). A crucial focus to sustainability includes preserving the environment so that the needs of future generations can also be met indefinitely in the future. Public health programs constitute an important method of improving health and program sustainability (Pluye et al 2004) as partnerships between health organisations and local authority planning departments concerning spacial planning are important to ensure the design of healthy sustainable communities (Griffiths 2006.).

Sustainability must be defined to include meeting human physical, emotional and social needs (Rogers et al. 2012) and scholarly research and thinking on well being and its connection to the environment, sustainability, growth and sustainable development considers aspects that move towards social and environmental benefits . While environmental sustainability is considered to examine living within the limits of the natural world, likewise, social sustainability emphasises living in ways that can be sustained because they are healthy and satisfying for people and communities (Rogers et al. 2012.) Maintaining a healthy environment and making the transition to environmental sustainability requires human societies that function well. Healthy happy individuals with a strong sense of place, identity and hope for the future are more likely to make protection of their environment a priority (Geller 1995.) According to Griffiths (2006) we must routinely design environmental sustainability into our public health programmes. Interventions for well planned communities improve physical, psychological and social well-being and a great concern is that we must mainstream environmental sustainability internally with the entire public health community because choosing health must come to mean the choice of sustainable healthy lifestyles (English Government 2004.)

Many countries have formulated or are in the process of formulating national plans for sustainable development that give increased weight to health and environmental concerns as health is now a concern for...

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