A lifestyle is a set of habits, behaviors, attitudes, and interests. It is formed in a specific geographical, religious, political, economic, and social context.
Lifestyle reflects a person’s identity, beliefs, and opinions. For example, a healthy lifestyle includes taking time to exercise, prepare healthy foods, and engage in organized religion. Some researchers define the term as a collection of health-related factors. Other researchers define it as the way you live your life.
The first usage of the word “lifestyle” was by Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychologist, in 1929. He wrote a book, The Science of Living, on the topic.
Adler defined the word as a set of values, patterns of behavior, and attitudes, which he describes as a style of personality. Adler also used the term to describe the way a person tries to achieve a goal in their lives.
Adler’s view of lifestyle is a result of a series of experiences he had growing up. In his early years, he experienced a sense of inferiority and a desire to attain a position of prestige.
Later, Adler defined his lifestyle as a behavioural orientation that is determined by the choices that he makes. He described his lifestyle in terms of self-image, security, relationships, and striving toward a particular goal in his life.
Early research on lifestyles focused on the analysis of individual positions and the relationship between mental and behavioural variables. Today, studies have moved beyond these boundaries. Researchers such as Anthony Giddens and Joffre Dumazedier study the relationship between active and passive dimensions, the relationship between meaningful actions and routines, and the use of time.