The Concept of Lifestyle


A healthy lifestyle consists of the habits that promote physical and mental health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Such habits include regular exercise; eating a balanced, nutritious diet; avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol use; and getting adequate sleep and relaxation. These habits are often associated with lower rates of obesity and depression, as well as reduced incidences of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other health conditions.

The concept of lifestyle is complex and can be defined in a number of ways. Some definitions focus on specific activities, while others emphasize broader aspects of an individual’s personality or character. Various disciplines have different ways of understanding the meaning of lifestyle. For example, sociology focuses on the way that an individual interacts with his or her environment and the society in which he or she lives. In contrast, psychological research tends to view the concept of lifestyle as an aspect of a person’s internal world.

Many definitions of lifestyle have been developed in the academic literature. Some have focused on a particular activity, such as consumption, while others have included other factors such as interests and values. Most of these definitions have been based on the assumption that an individual’s lifestyle reflects the interaction between his or her internal world and the external social world.

Psychologist Bertrand Rokeach used the term in 1960 to describe the way in which people structure their daily activities. His theory argued that individuals have a number of hierarchically ordered values, which are manifested in their behaviour and daily routines. He identified two types of lifestyle: a “terminal” one, which referred to an individual’s goals in life, and a “instrumental” one, involving the behaviour that the person uses to achieve his or her goals.

In the field of sociology, Giddens defined lifestyle as a process of self-realisation that takes place in a given social context. This was based on the notion that individuals are reflexively involved in organising their everyday life, and that this organisation is a result of the transformations of the living conditions in the social environment.

There are also a number of theories that are based on the concept of a person’s identity and the way in which this identity is formed, modified, and realised. These theories use the terms “identity construct” and “identity matrix”.

The problem with these models is that they lack an empirical base, and they do not allow for the existence of different lifestyles within a person’s society. This is because the identity and the lifestyle are linked, but the relationship is complex. A more appropriate model for analysing the concept of lifestyle would involve examining how it is shaped at different levels, from global to local. At the global level, lifestyle is intertwined with a world consumer class; at the structural level, it is associated with a nation; and at the positional level, it is connected to a subculture. This approach combines aspects of both the traditional and the contemporary approaches to the concept of lifestyle.