Health and well-being are not just about the absence of illness or disease. There are many intertwined factors that contribute and determine our quality of life. Aspects of our physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual and occupational selves all come into play.
“People tend to focus on the tangibles, such as their physical health or their pay cheque,” said Roly Russell, researcher and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Director, “but it seems like after some foundation for well-being is set with those, it is the less tangible aspects of our lives that really make us happy. Things like friends, volunteering, and living in places we love are what matter most in many of our lives.”
RDI data indicate that Basin-Boundary residents enjoy a relatively high level of intangible well-being. According to our annual Poll of Residents, the majority of us feel that most of our needs are being met, that we are generally satisfied with our lives, and that we have a positive sense of well-being. Society is beginning to understand well-being from a more holistic perspective, where several intergrated factors determine our wellness.
Our physical selves must be healthy, including physical activity, access to medical care, and generally living a healthy lifestyle. 68% of residents belileve they are in good physical shape, and 70% said that their schedules allow for adequate leisure time.
Our emotional and psychological condition is important, where our attitudes and beliefs toward ourselves and our lives play a role. 86% of respondents agreed that they feel generally satisfied with their life, and only 2% disagreed. Social relations and connection to community are another factor. When polled, 76% of residents said they meet socially with friends or relatives once a week or more, indicating a reasonably high level of social connectedness.
Awareness of cultural events, education and life-long learning are components of the intellectual factor that contributes to quality of life. Another is the spiritual – seeing the world as safe, and having a sense of spirituality. While only 22% of residents belong to a religious or spiritual organization, 51% said they have a strong sense of spirituality. 89% of residents report feeling safe in their community.
Another important factor of well-being is occupational – are we employed and happy in our jobs? Only 16% of 2015 poll respondents agree that there are sufficient job opportunities available in their community, suggesting this is an important area for improvement in our region. Relating to the environmental factor, 80% of residents agree that living in the mountains influences our regional identity, and 86% said they love where they live. When residents were asked if they see themselves living in the region in 5 years, 81% said yes.
This holiday season we celebrate all kinds of tangible and intangible gifts of good living in our region.
The RDI team wishes you a healthy and happy holiday season!