Studies and surveys in the field of family lifestyle are of particular importance for the quality of health care, as their results determine the approach to treatment. Also, having an understanding of the family life details, specialists can arrange a more accurate course of guidance and support, if health problems can be solved by adjusting the lifestyle. Every family has its understanding of the right way of life, depending on a huge number of social, national, racial, religious and other factors.
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Suzuki, Toba, Yoshida, Miyakawa, and Iba (2018) claim that “family lifestyles are all different depend on the culture, country and the family composition” (p. 12). Each research work involving interaction with actual families leads to different results, but they all add information to the overall picture of medical knowledge. The aim of this work is to analyze the data obtained in the interview with a particular family. The questionnaire used in the interview is attached to the paper.
Family Lifestyle Analysis
The Family Structure
The family chosen for the interview consists of four people, including parents and two daughters. They agreed to participate in the study but asked to remove their names from the final work. This family emigrated from Russia to the United States more than ten years ago. Parents have their own business. They are 45 years old; their daughters are 21 and 11 years old. The older girl goes to College; she comes home every weekend, so she is the least involved in family life. Her younger sister goes to school and devotes a lot of time to extracurricular activities. The whole family professes Christianity, but they are not involved in the religious activity: their rituals are limited to the celebration of major holidays. Most of them are supported by their national tradition.
The Family Health Behavior
Parents take health care in their family very seriously; they try to continually reduce the factors of the bad environment and introduce more recreational activities into the home schedule. However, they complained about the lack of time to implement all their plans: the work requires their constant attention and presence. According to them, they have no problems with sexual life; both motivate this by the fact that they are still quite young people.
They believe that regular sex life is one of the reasons for their resistance to stress and harmonious relationships. According to Berger (2017), the modern family is characterized by “the separation of sexual relations from both the biological function of procreation and the legal institution of marriage” (p. 147). The eldest daughter prefers to control her health herself, and she is still looking for a comfortable balance. The youngest believes that the schedule, which is established in her family and at school, is more than sufficient to maintain her health.
During the working week, when only the mother, father, and younger daughter are at home, everyone wakes up at the necessary time: parents get up at 6-7 o’clock; the girl wakes up at 7:30. They all take a shower and have some breakfast.
Parents drive their daughter to school and go to work. Their day is not normalized: they can return home at 6 PM, or 9 PM, or later. The daughter returns from school on the bus, on certain days she comes home late because of additional classes. They have dinner at different times. On weekends, when the eldest daughter comes home, they try to get together and go to the park, theater, cinema, or they cook dinner together. They do not have a specific schedule of going to bed, but since each of them gets up early, parents often remind their daughters not to stay up late.
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Each member of this family has their food preferences, but when they eat together, they often cook what everyone likes. From the time they lived in Russia, they are used not to add mayonnaise to dishes; they do not like too fatty or salty food. They eat little sweets, most often chocolate or dried fruits, very rarely – ice cream and cakes. The father likes spicy food, vegetables, and meat. The mother prefers dairy products and food on a grill. Daughters preferences are almost the same: salads, Asian cuisine and seafood.
Leisure and Sports
Parents admit that they are not keen on sports, but when they have the desire and time, they like to swim in the pool or play tennis. The eldest daughter loves football and skating, she also dances. Her sister is fond of martial arts and gymnastics. On weekends, gathering together, they often walk in the park, sometimes go to skiing resorts during the holidays, though they recently began to do it less because of the intense schedule.
According to the data collected, in the considered family adhere to a generally balanced diet, they eat a lot of fresh vegetables and protein. This helps them to avoid most diseases of the digestive system, weight and skin problems. Also, although not always regularly, they give themselves physical activity, which allows them to increase the resistance to diseases of the cardiovascular system, colds, muscle weakness, stress and other problems of a sedentary lifestyle.
At the same time, there are negative factors in their lifestyle: each family member works hard and sleeps little. Sleep disorders can lead to constant fatigue, distraction and memory impairment. Also, they eat at irregular intervals: only breakfast takes place at about the same hour. Most of the time they have dinner very late, which can adversely affect metabolism. Also, due to employment and exhaustion in the evenings, the family has less and less energy to spend time together, which can negatively impact their resistance to stress and harmony in relationships.
Although each family has its strengths and weaknesses, in this family members generally try to follow a healthy lifestyle and build their day in a balanced way. Migrant families face greater health stresses than indigenous people because they need to adapt to an entirely new cultural life, climate, food, and other specific aspects when they move (Hoey, 2016). This Russian family was able to adapt to unusual conditions and maintain its lifestyle preferences in such a way that it has the least impact on their health and psychological state.
Berger, B. (2017). The family in the modern age: More than a lifestyle choice. Routledge.
Hoey, B. A. (2016). Negotiating work and family: lifestyle migration, possible selves and the role of second homes as potential spaces. Leisure Studies, 35(1), 64-77.
Suzuki, R., Toba, K., Yoshida, N., Miyakawa, S., & Iba, T. (2018). Style language for family lifestyle. 25th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs, 1-14.
The Interview Questionnaire
- What is the definition of a healthy lifestyle for you? What habits do you consider unhealthy? Can you call your family’s lifestyle healthy?
- What products are always on your family table? What dishes do your family members not accept? Are you satisfied with your diet?
- Do all your family members sleep enough during the week? If so, what regime have they developed to achieve this? If not, how often do you experience feeling unwell from lack of sleep?
- Do any of you have any bad habits? Are there any prohibitions on them in your family? What other bans and eliminations exist in your family?
- How do you feel about sports? Does your family have any favorite games? Do you do a daily minimum of exercise to maintain energy?
- What do you know about proper health care? Are there any manipulations that your family members can do without the help of a medical specialist? How often do you visit your doctor?
- Are your family members sensitive to weather changes? How do you feel about very sour, sweet or spicy food? Did you ever get blood pressure disorders or faints?
- How do you personally assess your health at the moment? Would you like to change your lifestyle towards a healthier one? What exactly would you like to change?
- Is there an absolute leader in your family? What are the roles of the rest of the family members? Does each member agree with the existing family lifestyle arrangements?
- As for adults: are you satisfied with your sex life? Have you encountered any health problems in this area? How does your family solve this kind of problems, if necessary?
- How often do your family members experience stress at work/school? What helps you relax? Do you have any family activities to help relieve tension after a hard day?