Our homes are at the core of our daily lives. Data suggest that more than 90% of the time Americans spend indoors, and a two-third of that in their homes.
Young children spend a lot more time at home and become prone to household hazards. Factors related to housing can alter our health in many ways. For healthy living, we need a healthy home.
This article focuses on some vital aspects of housing and its connections to health – housing affordability, neighborhood conditions, and physical conditions inside the home. These interrelated pointers aid in shaping your neighborhood and home conditions and alter people’s ability to make healthy choices.
Healthy Living: Impact of Housing on Health
Achieving better mental and physical health is possible through a healthy home. To create a place that promotes good health, you need to ensure that your homes are free from any physical hazards and are safe.
An inadequate or poor quality housing facility leads to poor health problems as well as injuries and chronic diseases. It is crucial for the development of children, and chronic conditions can have an ill impact on their childhood.
Lead paint, poor indoor air quality, and hazardous conditions often exist in homes. Such conditions can affect your entire family, including your children, who are also at a greater risk of health problems. It can lead to health ailments like:
- The nervous system and brain development are affected due to lead poisoning, which is often irreversible. It leads to reading disability and lower intelligence.
- Poor ventilation, water leaks, pest infestation, and dirty carpets are those substandard housing conditions that lead to an increase in mites, molds, and other allergens.
- There is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to cold indoor conditions. Elderly people or vulnerable populations have a higher chance of getting impacted by temperature fluctuations leading to higher mortality.
- Respiratory infections and tuberculosis are physical illnesses that often occur due to residential crowding. It also leads to psychological distress among both children and adults.
Therefore, it is imperative to have a good housing facility for your family and you. People often relocate for work, if you are also planning to shift, say from Florida to Houston, you should consider the above hygiene factors for shortlisting a housing facility. For example, you can look for Houston apartments that help provide natural living conditions with all the amenities.
Impact of Neighborhood on Health
It is crucial to maintain good living conditions in your neighborhood along with your homes. The conditions of your neighborhood can have a significant impact on the health of your family and you.
The physical, social, and economic attributes of a neighborhood can significantly impact the long-term and short-term quality of health and longevity. The availability of places for adults to exercise or children to play can promote healthy living conditions.
The levels of pollution, lower rate of violence, and being free from crime are critical to your livelihood in the neighborhood being healthy and peaceful. The presence of proper grocery stores that keep fresh produce with the absence of a higher number of liquor stores is always preferable.
Eating out is a common phenomenon among the masses, so the absence of fast food outlets can motivate people to eat healthy food at home. Along with this, socio-economic variables like employment and the availability of public resources can improve health significantly. It can include an effective police force, efficient transportation, and quality education facilities.
It often happens that most neighborhoods fail to enjoy most of the above resources and opportunities. However, access to conditions that promote better health and good neighborhoods varies based on the economic conditions and availability of resources of a particular area.
Impact of Affordability on Health
According to statistics, housing is affordable when a family spends less than 30% of their income to buy or rent a residence. Crunch in the availability of affordable housing limits the options for families. It often leads to lower-income families opting for unsafe substandard housing. The conditions in such overcrowded neighborhoods lead to poor health conditions with the absence of any resources.
The monetary impact of the non-affordability of proper housing facilities has a direct role in a family’s ability to carry out their essential expenses. It often displaces many of the families from good living conditions and puts them under tremendous financial strain.
Higher housing-related costs become a grave economic burden for low-income families. They often trade-off their basic needs to have their ends meet.
Therefore, as you can see proper housing is a major criterion for maintaining good health. Unaffordable housing or neighborhoods with ill-equipped facilities ultimately impact the health and livelihood of all the people living in those areas.