Home is the Heart of Health

I’m sure that you are familiar with the old saying “mom is the heart of the home”. But let’s take that one step further and bring it into our health conscience world with the new saying of “home is the heart of health”. What do I mean by that?

Well, if you look at the health movement today, you will observe that most tools or techniques are designed to improve health for individuals, as a result, their success is limited and often fail. Take for example, your last attempt at improving your eating habits (read diet). If you were the only one in your household trying to improve in this area and one of your family members brought home a fresh, warm pizza, you probably abandoned your commitment and enjoyed the pizza.

When we are looking at improving health, we need to look at ways in which we can use effective tools and techniques in the context of the household, not individually, for the greatest success. How do you do this? Simple…Let’s walk through a system that identifies strong and weak areas of health in your household. Once you determine what your weak link is, it will be much easier to find solutions that fit your family for improvement in that area.

In this system, there are five areas of health that you will assign a numerical value for each member of your family (household). This process is called the Family Health 360 Walk Through because it allows you to look full circle at your family’s health. Here are the areas:

Nutrition Physical Activity Rest & Recharge (sleep, stress management, meditation, etc.) Connect & Care (social, emotional, mental & spiritual health) Protect & Prevent (preventive measures ie: flossing, mammograms, eliminating environmental toxins and risks, etc.)

Now take out a piece of paper and draw out a grid like the one you see below. At the top of each column, write the name of a family member (there are five columns in this example, but you may have more or fewer than five people in your family). In the empty boxes next to the area of health and under each family member’s name, rate them on a scale of 1 – 5 for that area.

1= not good 5= good

Once you have rated all members of your family, you will most likely see a “family trend” of health. Next, add the numbers in each health area horizontally for a grand total in each area. Then, divide each grand total by the number of members of your family (averaging). This gives you your Family Health Score in each area. The area of health with the smallest Family Health Score is your weak link.

With this knowledge, you are now more aware of your family’s strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge allows you to make better decisions in improving health in the context of your household.

What did you learn by using this system? What surprised you?

What is Your Family’s Health Score?

Published on: October 13, 2011
About the Author
Photo of Linda Fogg Phillips

Linda Fogg Phillips is the mother of eight active children ages 13 - 27. She is the founder of Family Health 360 in addition to being the Facebook expert for parents and educators. Linda is featured bi-weekly on Fox and makes frequent guest appearances on ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN.

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