It is well-known that lifestyle factors have major effects on health and fitness. Compare and contrast typical lifestyles in two different countries and their resulting health effects. You may wish to reference factors such as exercise, diet and leisure activities
Comparing and Contrasting Typical Lifestyles in China and United States
According to the literature, a broad variety of lifestyle factors affect people’s health and fitness. There is already overwhelming evidence demonstrating the significance of leading a balanced lifestyle. Research conducted in Iran, United Kingdom, United States, and China demonstrated that changes in levels of physical exercises and diet improve the health of entire community. Therefore, it will be imperative to compare lifestyle factors in the United States and China. It is critical to note that while United States has poor dieting, physical and social connection lifestyles, Chinese and Americans struggle with work-life balance although both have positive leisure lifestyle,
First, it is imperative to indicate that there is a significant contrast in the dieting in China and United States. According to Brewer (2013), Chinese eat half the fact of Americans and one-third protein less than Americans. Also, it is fundamental to state that about 90% of protein consumers in China is plant based and their average diet consists of mammal meat eaten once or twice a month (Jennifer, 2014). While this is the case, people in the United States eat 30% and 70% fewer carbohydrates, and fiber respectively than individuals in China do (Jennifer, 2014). As an outcome, Americans women are five times likely to develop heart-related diseases than Chinese. At the same time, middle-aged men in American have considerably increased chance of dying from heart conditions than men in same age in China. Similarly, American has more cases of breast cancer as compared to China. Further, United States has considerably high incidences of obesity which has been attributed to their methods of cooking foods. Individuals in this country limit themselves to frying, baking, roasting and boiling while Chinese use methods such as stewing, steaming, braising, and quick frying which are healthier (Jennifer, 2014). On the contrary, Americans are fond of using more sunflower and olive oils as well as butter. Biting American foods can be daunting and messy affair because of grease that comes from them. As such, it is evident that Chinese observe more healthy diets than Americans which translated to the reduced number of associated diseases like cancer, obesity and heart conditions.
Moreover, it is critical to understand that Chinese spend more time doing vigorous activities than Americans. According to research performed by Lee (2014), Chinese weigh less and are leaner than people in United States. Furthermore, Chinese move around more which help them get exercises from their daily routines. For example, Chinese have evening culture which plays a primary role in their healthy activities. During this time, individuals take walk something embedded in the famous proverb, take a hundred steps after eating. Americans do not have such in their tradition which has contributed to the dramatic increase in heart diseases. The study by Lee (2014) confirms that even with 15 minutes a day or 90 a week of moderate exercise can reduce the risk of death by approximately 14% and increase life expectancy by three years. A routine walk of about 20 minutes after eating gets one the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise. As compared to Chinese, most Americans remain inactive and eat large portions of fast foods. Jenny Less (2016) confirm that vast number of millennials in China are obsessed with their health. Individuals between the age of eighteen and thirty-five years engage in running, visiting gyms and participating in exercise classes as well as playing sports. According to the source, Chinese millennials continue to seek new ways of becoming healthier and happier. They engage in using applications to watch their fitness, workout and track their progress as well as monitoring eating habits. However, this is directly different cases when it comes to Americans. Most individuals are concerned about their economic well-being which means they are less concerned about their health (Jenny, 2016). In return, population in the United States suffer from stroke, obesity, heart diseases, cancer, chronic pain, and depression. There are numerous other conditions associated with Americans sedentary lifestyle. In particular, most physical education requirements have been eliminated or reduced in many universities and colleges in the U.S. As a result, this has reduced the number of people engaging in physical exercises.
One of the most critical similarities between China and United States lifestyle can be seen in their peoples engagement in leisure activities. According to Wei, Akos, Jiang and Harbour (2016), the amount of time spent by working age Americans has increased by four to eight hours a week. The source notes that every category of Americans spares more time for leisure: married or single, with or without children, as well as women and men. Further, women in U.S have devoted more time to paying jobs but have cut their housework and other burdensome tasks by twice as much. It means they are engaging in more leisure activities which are directly related to the current reduction in the rate of obesity in the country. There are a wide range of sporting activities in which people engage into in U.S. Baseball, football and basketball are favorite sports for Americans own entertainment. On the other hand, Chinese love taking a broad category of leisure activities which can be observed during traditional festivals strolls in parks and competitions. These individuals like spending their free time outdoors as much as possible. Parents are often fond of taking their children outside where they could play. Additionally, most Chinese parks are full of people, old and young, from dawn to dusk engaging in Chinese leisure activities. Both Americans and Chinese show a consensus in terms of their rating of the importance of their current leisure activities.
Also, it is imperative to indicate that both Chinese and Americans continue to struggle when it comes to work-life balance. Statistics from these countries indicate that most people are concerned about their economic welfare. In particular, this has been contributed to the current economic issue facing the world. Chinese and American workers report feeling increasingly stresses out. According to a survey conducted in China, 75% of individuals in these nations contend experiencing increased stress, particularly, because they have work long hours in an attempt to earn more to meet their basic needs (Kristen, 2015). Time to spend with family or do other things besides work is becoming a luxury as people are traveling too much for work. Harvard business School and Standard University have found that Americans toiling habits have not changed much in the recent decades as individuals put in longer hours at their offices than healthy personal activities (Swift et al., 2016). With their busy work schedules Chinese and Americans do not find time to engage in a healthier lifestyle. Further, this is related these nations social lifestyle. It is fundamental to note that Chinese people have a more positive social life as compared to Americans. Specifically, this is embedded in these countries cultures (Megan, 2016). While China advocate for collectivism, Americans are often individualistic and less sociable people which in return comes with significant health consequences. According to Umberson and Karas Montez (2010), social isolation is equivalent to the effect of getting no exercises, for example, having hypertension and diabetes. The source compared number and quality of peoples social connections including friends, family, and acquaintances in the community and measured the resultant physical health, weight, and blood pressure (Nielsen et al., 2014). The author notes that each of these measures relates to stress which is the primary means in which social life influence human health. From this information, it can be inferred that Chinese have a healthier lifestyle than Americans. In particular, positive social connections are important for the physical health of adolescents and seniors in the society.
Indeed, there a vast number of lifestyle factors that impact ones health and fitness. Therefore, it has been critical to detail differences and similarities between lifestyles of individuals in U.S and China focusing on elements such as physical exercises, diet, leisure, work, and social life. It has been identified that people in United States have poor dieting, social connections, and physical exercise habits as compared to Chinese. However, individuals in these countries continue to struggle with work-life balance. Further, these factors are related to the development of diseases such as cancer, obesity, hypertension, and stress.
Brewer, L. (2014). Profiling Food Consumption: A Comparison between China and America. European journal of applied physiology, 114(8), 1563-1571
Jennifer, P. (2014). 8 real Chinese dishes you should order instead of the American knockoffs. Retrieved 20th May 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/authentic-chinese-food-vs-american-chinese-food-2014-7?IR=T
Jenny, L. (2016). VCs are betting on greater Chinese Fitness. Retrieved 20th May 2017, from https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/07/vcs-are-betting-on-the-great-chinese-fitness-boom/
Kristen, D. (2015). U.S has a lousy work-life balance. Retrieved 20th May 2017, from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/u-s-lousy-work-life-balance/
Lee, M. M. (2014). Dietary habits, physical activity, and body size among Chinese in North America and China. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 3(3), 145-148.
Megan, S. (2016). The study says that a social life is a healthy lifestyle. Retrieved 20th May 2017, from https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2016/01/26/study-social-life-healthy-life/Sw2UgzDPB23bhz90r4LNJO/story.html
Nielsen, G., Wikman, J. M., Jensen, C. J., Schmidt, J. F., Gliemann, L., & Andersen, T. R. (2014). Health promotion: The impact of beliefs of health benefits, social relations and enjoyment on exercise continuation. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 24(S1), 66-75.
Swift, D. L., Johannsen, N. M., Lavie, C. J., Earnest, C. P., & Church, T. S. (2014). The role of exercise and physical activity in weight loss and maintenance. Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 56(4), 441-447.
Umberson, D., & Karas Montez, J. (2010). Social relationships and health: A flashpoint for health policy. Journal of health and social behavior, 51(1_suppl), S54-S66.
Wei, C., Akos, P., Jiang, X., & Harbour, S. (2016). A Comparison of University Career Services in China and the United States. Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling, 6(1).