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Health advice not all-inclusive


We're told we should exercise, sleep more and eat better. But it's not an option for all of us

Every day we’re bombarded with stories telling us how to live our healthiest lives. We’re told we should sleep seven to nine hours each night, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, exercise regularly, drink lots of water and avoid alcohol.

It’s a lot to take in. And even though it might be based on the best possible science and medical advice, for some Australians, the guidance can actually be unhelpful — or just plain unrealistic.

If you’re a shift worker, or if you work multiple jobs, getting a solid eight hours of sleep every night isn’t just something you can choose to do.

If you struggle to fit in time to exercise between work and family commitments, and a gym membership is too expensive, working out can be really hard to do.

And if you aren’t able to afford or access quality fruit and vegetables for your meals, it can be deflating and isolating to read advice that assumes you can.

Often well-meaning advice from doctors and experts can miss the mark, because it assumes we all have the option to just get more sleep, exercise more and eat healthier food.

The issue isn’t that people don’t know about the benefits of healthy living. It’s more that, with everything else going on in their lives it falls by the wayside, says Professor Friel.

“I think that needs to be addressed if we don’t want to do harm to people. They’ve got conflicting things coming at them: there’s the advice to do all of this stuff that’s important for health, and then their everyday life is being shaped by structures that make it really problematic to follow that advice.”

Read full article at https://www.abc.net.au/life/exercising-eating-sleeping-better-is-not-a-choice-for-all-of-us/10969602

Posted on: April 5 2019

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