Health is the general condition of a person in the mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Healthy individuals are able to mobilize all their physical, mental, and spiritual resources to improve their chances of survival, to live happy and fulfilling lives, and to be of benefit to their dependents and society.
What are activities and why do we need them?
Activity is something you do that benefits and helps develop skills for later life. Activity gives us opportunities to learn new skills. As we get older the range of activities we can do changes. However we still need to do the ones we can do to keep the brain and mind stimulated. In health and care settings activities are carried out daily. Care settings choose activities carefully and make sure that they are appropriate for the people who are going to be participating in them. Each of the activities that are chosen for the service users will benefit them in some way or form. All activities we do benefit us either physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially or in some cases all four.
Physical activities benefit a person greatly no matter what age they are. As we get older the benefits vary and differ. During infancy and childhood physical activities help the development of gross motor skills (like learning how to walk or crawl) and fine motor skills (learning how to clasp things like toys and even their own hands and feet). During the early stages of life physical activity is essential for our bone and muscle development, which will improve our growth, movement and mobility greatly. Some activities like passing and catching a ball will help to develop hand-eye coordination.
Activities like running up and down the playground will help to develop stamina and suppleness. Most physical activities will help improve cardiovascular fitness and respiratory fitness (like swimming). Physical activity will improve service users’ health in a care setting/environment. It will also help for later stages in life. Intellectually At our early stages of life (infancy and childhood) intellectual activity is essential, as we need intellectual knowledge for when we start school. At nursery and/or pre-school teachers teach us how to read, count and write.
These are the basic skills that we need. During adolescence we learn new things (like the subjects we choose for our GCSEs). We need these in order to go to university and to be able to be someone in life. As we get older we need to be intellectually active, in order to do this we must do activities like reading, completing crosswords and reading the newspaper. We need to keep our minds active, as we get older. Being intellectually active prevents this from happening. Emotionally Participating in activities with our families creates emotional bonds between them and us.
Activities like painting and drawing will relax and release stress in adults. Art therapy improves memory and concentration skills. Music therapy is also a way of releasing stress and anxiety it gives room for self-expression, pleasure and fun. Drama gives room for confidence and self-expression. Activities like talking to family and friends over the Internet satisfy our need of love, comfort and belonging. It lets you know that you are not alone and that you belong somewhere. This is very important during later adulthood. As we get older we get lonelier which makes our emotional needs bigger.
Any activity that brings pleasure satisfies emotional needs and gives us powerful benefits. As we get older our memories and concentration skills get weaker so we need activities that will stimulate those two things, making them stronger. Keeping our minds active helps keep us emotionally balanced. If we do not keep our minds active when we get older we will feel lonely, isolated and sad which affects us greatly. Socially Activities such as simple team sports and games in early stages of life help children develop their social skills. It teaches them how to share and how to deal with other people.
We need these skills for later in life. If we do not learn them when we are at our early stages of life we will have problems socializing and making friends. Taking part in group activities makes you feel a sense of belonging. Activities like bingo or bowls in later stages of life give us the feeling that we are part of something preventing us from feeling lonely. Artistic activities can improve hand eye coordination. It is important for people with special needs to take part in social activities as they need to feel cared for and that they are equal to everyone else.
They need to feel that they are no different to everyone else despite their disability. This boosts an individual’s confidence and allows room for self-expression no matter what stage of life the individual is in. An individual needs to participate in varied activities which will change as they get older in order to satisfy their physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs (PIES). There are many different benefits, which come under each of the PIES. As we get older some of the PIES needs may become more necessary than the others like social and intellectual.
In the later stages of life physical needs may increase as we may be affected by an illness or disability. If an individual is disabled, their PIES needs will be slightly higher than a normal person’s needs. For an individual who has learning difficulties their intellectual needs will be much greater because they struggle more than a normal individual. They will need to do lots of appropriate intellectual activities especially during their early stages of life. An individual must include and do activities in their day-to-day life, which meet their PIES needs effectively in order to feel good and comfortable with themselves.