By Kristina Maxwell
The year 2020 is officially upon us. However, instead of embarking on just a new year this time, we’re also embarking on a whole new decade.
The long-held gold standard for visual acuity is 20/20 vision. While having 20/20 vision doesn’t mean that vision is truly perfect, it means that in standard conditions visual ability is more than functional. Many organisations in the healthcare world have jumped on using the “perfect” vision idea and the reality of a new decade to name various initiatives that will be launched this year.
There is Vision 2020 by the World Health Organization to eliminate avoidable blindness, Vision 2020 by the American Physical Therapy Association for direct access to physical therapy and Vision 2020 by the World Dental Federation to improve changes to legislation in regard to oral health, just to name a few.
You can also have a Vision 2020 for your health this year by making a few quick and simple changes.
• Be social — Happy people tend to live longer and being social usually brings joy. Plan a lunch date with a friend, call a family member you’ve lost touch with or go to happy hour with some co-workers.
• Eat whole foods — Most nutritionists agree that 80 per cent of the foods we eat should come straight from nature. This means decreasing the consumption of processed and fast foods and opting for vegetables, fruits, lean meats, nuts, beans and whole grains as much as possible.
• Get enough sleep — A successful day requires a good night’s sleep. Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night on a regular basis. Getting five hours or less has been proven to decrease life expectancy by as much as 15 per cent.
• Quit smoking — Throwing away your cigarettes can literally add years to your life. Various studies have shown that smokers die an average of seven years earlier than non-smokers.
• Stay active — Getting more exercise makes the body stronger and less susceptible to disease. Studies in corporate settings have shown that just 15 to 20 minutes of physical activity per day has the potential to reduce sick days by 9 per cent.
• Be a life student — Education shouldn’t end with school. People who live the longest are those that continuously learn and challenge their minds. Read new books, research topics that are interesting to you or make a point to try and learn a new word every day.
To find out more about how to achieve your rehabilitation/wellness goals, contact a healthcare professional at Align Wellness Studio.
Kristina Maxwell is a doctor of physiotherapy at Align, a wellness studio with an integrated approach to physical rehabilitative treatments and preventative care.
This article originally appeared in the January 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “Vision 2020.”