Written by Bryneé, Second Place Future of Health Competition Winner
Maintaining a healthy life and body is of great importance to living a long life.
In today’s society, the focus on health has increased considerably. We are finally realizing that to live a long, fruitful life, we must first take care of ourselves and our bodies.
In the 1800s, citizens of the US would not have even dreamed of living past the age of 70. Presently, our life expectancy has significantly improved in the last century. At the end of the 1800s, the life expectancy of an average American was 39. We are now predicted to live til 79, a difference of 40 years. Meanwhile, the chance of dying at a younger age has been steadily decreasing.
Of course, the assistance of medical advancements to come is crucial to our progression. These future medical advancements will solidify life expectancy, as it has done in the past. Future medical advancements could include vaccines, cures to detrimental diseases, and the enhancement of the healthcare system. In fact, vaccines in the next 50 years could prevent the world’s worst nightmares: HIV/AIDS and cancer. Moreover, new discoveries are happening every day: scientists discovered a new antibiotic, teixobactin without detectable resistance; researchers have grown human skeletal muscle in the lab; microscopic machines can travel inside a living creature and deliver medicine; etc.
With all these advancements, doctors and nurses can collaborate with epidemiologists and government officials to develop state-of-the-art treatment and prevention programs for patients. The Affordable Care Act includes the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, intended to research reform ideas through pilot projects. If we can achieve healthcare reform, we can further advance our life expectancy. New and better developed programs will allow patients to combat their illness with newly trained doctors and superior techniques at their side.
However, alongside new programs, patients can still live healthy lives by just taking care of themselves. Employers are realizing the benefits of work site wellness programs, while people are realizing exercising daily decreases your chances of diabetes and obesity, and customers are demanding healthier and more nutritious options for themselves and their children.
Therefore, even if world-changing vaccines are not developed to completion yet, individuals can still lead long, healthy lifestyles.