What is Quality of Life?

What Does Quality of Life Mean

The meaning of quality of life is complex, since it is a concept that we use to refer to variables of an economic, social and political nature , among others, that have a direct impact on human life. However, there is no consensus regarding what quality of life is, so there are definitions from different fields of knowledge, such as sociology , politics , medicine, etc.

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What does exist is a more or less defined criterion regarding which countries and regions offer models of life to their population that allow a greater development of their potential and, in general, a fuller life.

Thus, different international organizations are in charge of measuring this quality of life . And they do so through specific methods that focus their attention on various aspects of human life in society , to thus elaborate a development index that allows the geographic and national regions to be stratified on the basis of which one offers the best conditions for living.

In the past, this type of analysis was made considering only the economic aspects of the country, such as economic growth or industrial production, but in recent times this type of approach has been discarded as it reduces the quality of human life to minimum material conditions. leaving out many other variables.

See also: Quality control

How is quality of life measured?

To measure quality of life, statistical information, surveys, social, cultural and medical reviews are usually used, usually focused on three main aspects:

  • Life expectancy or longevity.
  • The educational level throughout the country and the social classes .
  • The Gross Domestic Product per capita.

From these three indicators, the HDI (Human Development Index ) proposed by the UN through the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) is currently determined. The countries with the highest HDI in the world are Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Canada and Japan.

Quality of life factors

The cultural conditions exerted on an individual or group cannot be set aside.

Broadly speaking, numerous and different factors that intervene for better or for worse in the quality of life of societies can be identified, depending on how one does their study. We could, however, group them into very general categories:

  • Environmental context. The wars , political instability, extreme economic or working conditions largely determine the quality of life of an individual or a group human, from the consequences of their historical context exert on it.
  • Social environment. The degree of insertion in society, family support, the presence of protective institutions or social marginalization are also variables that are at stake when thinking about quality of life. In fact, individuals from the same region may have different qualities of life according to their social environment.
  • Vital conditions. Wealth and poverty , real opportunities, in short, the conditions in which an individual comes into the world and develops directly affect their opportunities and their quality of life in general.
  • Personal satisfaction. At very personal levels, individual decisions and the unique way to deal with all of the above conditions are also important factors in an individual's quality of life.
  • Culture and society . The cultural conditions exerted on an individual or a group of them by the rest of the community or by themselves cannot be ignored either.

Quality of life indicators

In the statistical study of quality of life, indicators of quality of life are objectively examined: the elements that must be questioned to get an idea about the way of life of societies. Some of them are:

  • Material conditions. Wealth, access to savings , type of home, etc.
  • Job. Labor band (formal, informal, illegal), salary , employment conditions, etc.
  • Health . Access to medical services, medicines,daily hygiene conditions, etc.
  • Education . Formal academic level achieved, access to education at all levels, etc.
  • Leisure and social relations. Access to entertainment, amount of free time, level of integration into society, emotional ties, etc.
  • Physical and personal security. Regarding the conditions of life, work, etc.
  • Basic rights. Protection (or helplessness) on the part of State institutions , etc.
  • Environment and environment . Geographic living conditions, immediate environment of vital development, etc.
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