Variables Affecting Environmental Options
All people belong to a certain environment where they stay. The choice of a living environment is therefore a very critical decision that somebody has to make. Various factors influence the decision of an environmental option. Such factors include demographic factors, financial ability, beliefs and religion, independence, individual lifestyle, personality, geographical location, social factors and academic factors.
Demographic factors include the characteristics of the population in the prospected area. It is necessary to identify these so as to know what kind of environment you are going to live in. Such characteristics include the population size, the type of people living in the area, disease prevalence in the area and availability of amenities such as schools and transport systems. This is important as it gives you a clue of what the area is like and it helps in making the decision of whether you shall be comfortable staying there or not (Spittal et al., 2008).
Finance is another crucial variable when choosing a living environment. Generally, most places are stereotyped to be divided into zones of certain financial classes. There are living areas for the rich, the middle-class and those for the poor. An individual or family’s choice of a living area thus depends on whether they are able to afford the place. Financial constrain is a common reason why most people reside where they did not want to. The rich people thus tend to have better living environments as compared to the middle income population.
Beliefs and traditions also influence the choice of a living environment. Cultural influence in areas that still have strong cultural ties impacts on settlement. If culture dictates that a person should live in their ancestral land, then it would be difficult to find another living environment away from the original homeland. Religion may also be a valid influence when selecting environmental options. In most cases, people naturally prefer to stay near a cluster of other people with similar religious beliefs. This is because they share a common faith and other religious amenities such as mosques, churches, Hindu temples and schools(Spittal et al., 2008).
Independence may greatly influence the choice of a living environment too. The need to be self-reliant and away from disturbance from other people, especially for introverts, makes people choose a certain living environment. Sociologists have proven from research that most people do not prefer living near relatives due to inevitable pressures. Considering this, one may thus decide to live far away or in a new environment.
Geographical location is yet another variable to look into when selecting a living environment. Different geographical areas suit different people’s interests. Preference is given to an area where someone feels comfortable living. People who have been raised in cold and chilly areas may prefer high altitude areas as opposed to those who cannot withstand cold climate and therefore prefer fairly hot conditions(Veenhoven, 2008). Proximity to working areas may also influence the residence of choice. People engaging in farming generally decide to stay in large farmyards away from busy cities and towns.
Academic factors are also considered when selecting a living environment. Students have to choose a place near the learning institution. In most instances, especially for universities, the school is far from the original area of residence and it may be difficult to find a place that resembles the environment that one is used to back at home. Academic qualifications and experience greatly influences where a person stays during his work life. Health and medical factors may impact on the living environment. Somebody with asthma may prefer to live in a hot area as opposed to cold mountainous areas(Veenhoven, 2008).
Man is a social being, and therefore social support systems are an important aspect in life. This refers to those people close to you whom you can turn to for advice or support during hard times. They include relatives, close friends and religious leaders. It is therefore advantageous to consider the availability of these social support systems before selecting a location of residence. During hard times such as sickness, friends and relatives are usually the nearest help that a person has.
Socialization is necessary to all human beings. Before selecting a living environment, check for social amenities such as schools, religious meeting points, hotels, playgrounds or stadiums, fun parks, entertainment lounges, swimming pools. These are necessary during functions that bring people together. The Psychiatrist union of Canada advocates for socialization as to boost self-confidence and avoid antisocial personality disorders(Walter et al., 2011).
The elderly population at times have reduced freedom to make decisions on their own regarding the area of residence they prefer. This may at times be due to medical conditions that come with aging such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They therefore depend on significant others especially their children and caregivers for the choice of a living environment, in the contemporary society, community based care has been initiated in the community and most old people are taken to geriatric homes. Their independence in the choice of a living environment of their choice is therefore regulated(Walter et al., 2011).
It is easier to make a decision of a living environment as an individual than as a group, since you only select a place suitable to your own needs. That said, families therefore have to consider individual members since they need to try and satisfy all of them. Finding a suitable living environment for a family needs to put factors such as space and privacy into consideration, according to the number of family members (Veenhoven, 2008).
The choice of a living environment is something easier said than done since there are many variables to be considered. It is normally expensive to acquire land in the city and therefore most families find it economical to build their permanent homes in the countryside. In so doing consideration of employment opportunities is necessary. Most jobs are found in cities and towns and therefore a high population is contained there. People in their middle age generally stay in cities and thereafter relocate to the countryside after retirement (Veenhoven, 2008). This is as per a survey conducted by American Demographic Studies in 2014. A large population in towns and cities stay in rental apartments as compared to the countryside where people have built their own permanent residential houses (Walter et al., 2011).
In order to find a good residential area, it is good to take time and survey an area that best suits the preferred interests. The key factors that influence this choice are financial ability, demographic factors, beliefs and independence. Other factors are individually oriented and are also equally important in making the choice. They include geographical location, personality traits, religion, social factors, academic factors and medical factors. It is necessary to conduct a good survey of the environment that a person wishes to reside and compare different locations before finally selecting the best that suits the interests.
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Veenhoven, R. (2008). Healthy happiness: Effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care. Journal of happiness studies, 9(3), 449-469.
Siahpush, M., Spittal, M., & Singh, G. K. (2008). Happiness and life satisfaction prospectively predict self-rated health, physical health, and the presence of limiting, long-term health conditions. American Journal of Health Promotion, 23(1), 18-26.