The Happiest Country in the World

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How Access to Health & Well-being Can Make the Difference 

What does good health mean to you? Living a healthy life is more than just not suffering from illness. It means people have access to all the resources and services they need to keep a healthy and happy life. This includes access to running water, sufficient nutritious food and a balanced diet, access to exercise, and medical services if and when needed. You may think everyone has access to these things. However, the reality is that many children and adults living in poor underdeveloped countries do not have the basic necessities needed to sustain good health and well-being. 

According to a 2019 report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, it is estimated that 1 in 10 people (785 million) still lack basic services, including the 144 million who drink untreated surface water. Untreated surface water is often contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, and human and animal waste. These contaminants are rarely visible to the naked eye but, when ingested, may cause a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting and even pneumonia.

Thinking Cap On:

Now that you know the dangers of drinking untreated water: do some research and find out more about how you can sanitize water on the go. Imagine you are preparing for a camping trip, and although you may bring some bottled water already with you, what tools are available out there to help you sanitize water? How expensive are they? Are they provided for anyone? Do you know of any less expensive way to sanitize your water before you drink? Discuss with an adult. 

 

Well-being or Being Well? What is Well-being? 

Well-being is the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. It is happy thoughts and healthy smiles. Well-being is feeling good inside and out. And although it might not be possible to be happy 100% of the time (we get you some days are blue, and that is ok too), well-being is knowing you have all the things - and support - you need to get back into your happy state of mind. 

Think of well-being as your happiness thermometer. You can have different thermometers for different 'zones' of your life. This is why there are 5 types of well-being: 

  • Physical well-being your body
  • Economic well-being your income level 
  • Social well-being your role in society 
  • Development and activity, extracurricular activities 
  • Emotional well-being your ability to manage and express the emotions 
  • Psychological well-being how well your mind processes and understands information and experiences

Overall, well-being is a healthy feeling of comfort and happiness that defines your health and quality of life. 

According to the United Nations World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country in the world, taking the top spot for the third year in a row. The reason? the country's high quality of life. The Un report states that quality of life is not only determined by economic well-being (income) but also by other five key elements: Freedom to make life choices, trust towards social and political institutions, healthy life expectancy, level of available support from friends and relatives in times of need and generosity as a sense of positive community engagement. Finland also has more forest per square mile than any other European nation. Finns—together with their Nordic neighbors—score exceptionally well in all these metrics.

 

How Can You Help Promote Health & Well-being Awareness 

You can start by promoting and protecting your own health and the health of those around you (like your parents, grandparents and siblings) by making well-informed choices, eating healthy and maintaining a good safe and clean environment for everyone. Why not organize a family night where you and your family practice yoga or play a game together and boost your household's well-being. 

You can also raise awareness in your local community. Talk about the importance of good health, healthy lifestyles, and people's right to quality health care services, especially for the most vulnerable such as women and children. Perhaps make a poster with health and well-being tips or facts and share it in your local community church or club. 


 

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Thinking Cap On: 

Can you run a happy healthy nation? Imagine you are the president of a country for a day, what would be the first law or policy you would make to ensure health and wellbeing is accessible to all individuals? You must consider all types of well-being mentioned above. 

You must also take into consideration 

  1. The economy - does your country rely on tourism for example? or does it export goods?
  2. The age of your citizens - younger and older people living together
  3. Your government cabinet, which will pass your laws. Get your family involved to help you decide what works and want doesn't, and become “policy makers’ together. 

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