Lifestyle is a broad term that encompasses many aspects of an individuals’ life experience. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous work, The Case of Miss R. With the implication of “the primitive human condition” the term has come to represent a wide range of psychological perspectives and beliefs about how to live one’s life. For example, some people believe that humans were meant to be vegetarian while other’s believe that they should be carnivores due to the fact that carnivores are the only animals capable of killing prey. Lifestyle, as it relates to animals, can also be in the form of their food and their selection of it. As another example, some people believe that people should eat as little sugar as possible, while other’s believe that sugar is necessary for the brain to function properly and that excessive intake could lead to serious health risks.
Lifestyle and behavior can also be influenced by the social setting in which they live. This is not limited to any specific culture or country but encompasses all cultures and countries. For instance, a person who lives in the rural area is going to be much different from one who lives in the city. And just as Lifestyle differs from one culture to another, similarly there are varying standards of what is considered to be Lifestyle by different people.
One way of examining the term Lifestyle is to examine how a person would fit into the categories of Lifestyle if they lived according to the lifestyle of their parents or even if they were raised in another culture that does not practice Lifestyle. For example, it would be very difficult to label someone as being a vegetarian if their mother never gave milk to her children. In this case, the mother’s Lifestyle would have been a strict vegan which would have dictated all of her actions throughout her lifetime. It is interesting to see how many times lifestyles are similar and yet entirely different. Even within a single culture, there can be many different Lifestyle groups such as thrift-barons, seventies-style rockers, hipsters and so on.
The concept of Lifestyle has even gotten to the point of creating terms such as “coffee culture” as well as “hipsterdom.” There are even studies done on the effects of Lifestyle on individuals who are unable to get up mornings until 8 a.m. This is why most cities have coffee shops within blocks of one another which helps create the sense of community for many Lifestyle focused individuals. But beyond these businesses, the Lifestyle of a city is focused on the daily act of social interaction. In a study focusing on a group of college students, the social interaction was gauged by asking them to do a knoll and to then interact with five other participants. Those who participated in the knoll session were found to have significantly more social interaction than those who did not partake in the knoll.
The concept of the Lifestyle is also very much present within the definition of a city. For example, New York is considered a cultural city whereas Chicago is a business city. Lifestyle in New York City is dictated by a lot of things such as whether you are Cuban, Jewish or Italian. In Chicago, it is based largely on economic status, but it still is dependent on things such as fashion, music, food, politics and ethnic groups. In essence, a person is always depending on the aspects of his or her Lifestyle.
Even within a city such asoulder, CO, two distinct yet intertwined Lifestyle components dominate the lives of the residents. These include the Gen X crowd that roots their interests in being outdoors and enjoying the Rocky Mountains, as well as the hippie crowd that focused their interests on drug usage, meditation and free love. Both Lifestyle focus groups and Denver life revolve around the type of people being here. As you can see, no matter where you are, you can either be a member of a Lifestyle focused group or a member of the Hippie bunch.