What Can an Individual Do to Further Public Health? 5 Great Options

What Can an Individual Do to Further Public Health? 5 Great Options

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Many individuals feel empowered to pursue a career or spend time in a way that positively impacts their community or society at large. There are so many ways to spend your time improving public health that it can feel paralyzing to choose one approach.

But what's the best way to spend your time improving public health? Does it cost money to do so? And are there ways to improve public health at home from a computer?

In this article we'll share five things that an individual can do to further public health.

Some cost money, some don't.

Some require you do leave the house, but some can be done from the comfort of the home with nothing more than a computer or phone and an internet connection.

1) Pursue a STEM PhD

One of the most impactful ways an individual can benefit the health of their society is to undertake basic scientific research that helps us understand and improve human or environmental health.

Pursuing a PhD in a scientific discipline like nutritional biochemistry requires this sort of research.

Illuminate Health cites clinical studies in many of our research-based articles, and without these studies, it would be hard for consumers and doctors to make informed decisions about healthcare, nutrition and supplementation.

As an example, scientists only recently discovered how important the microbiome is to all aspects of human health.

Scientists have even recently found out that our gut health influences our mental health, which can hopefully lead to more effective and safer mental health treatments in the near future.

2) Become a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

Industrialized societies across the globe are becoming more obese, and there’s a general lack of exercise knowledge.

By becoming a CPT, you can positively impact the lives of your clients by helping them achieve optimal physical condition.

This field of work is especially important with so many consumers getting their exercise routines from YouTube and other online platforms.

Many beginner athletes don’t know how dangerous some weighted exercises can be without proper form and training, and may be putting themselves at increased risk of injury.

CPTs can help clients build muscle and lose fat with a decreased risk of injury compared with them figuring it out on their own.

3) Donate to Health-Related Charities

One of the easiest ways to directly improve public health is to donate to health-related charities.

We recommend checking CharityNavigator prior to donating, because this tool vets charities based on what percentage of every dollar donated actually goes to the cause.

There are a variety of charities related to public health. Some are in the field of addiction rehabilitation, and others fund scientific research that can benefit society as a whole.

Whatever your passion, finding a charity that matches it and donating is a time-efficient way to further public health, and a great option for those with high disposable income.

4) Volunteer

The methods we’ve listed thus-far have required expertise or money, but anyone can volunteer and make their local community a happier and healthier place with just a little time and effort.

Volunteering could mean passing out meals at a food pantry or working on a local farm that feeds the community, or even joining an organization that visits elderly centers and socializes with the residents, helping to improve their mental health.

There are so many great options for volunteering, and medical research has actually proven that volunteering benefits the health of the volunteer, so it’s a win-win!

5) Support a Suicide Hotline

Suicide hotlines do amazing work to save lives every day.

They're free resources for people feeling suicidal to call in and speak with a real person who can help them work through their challenging time, and can show them empathy.

There are many different suicide call centers that an individual can volunteer at from the comfort of their home. 

This online resource has a link where users (based in the US) can find a local crisis center to reach out to and volunteer with.

There are similar organizations in many countries around the world.

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There are many ways that individuals can help further public health, from pursuing medical research, to donating, to volunteering, and more.

The best approach will depend on the individual, but we believe there’s a way for anyone to further public health if they’re motivated to do so.

It doesn’t take money or knowledge; all it takes is the will to make the world around you a better place.

One of the great things about furthering public health is that it's fulfilling, so it not only benefits the world around you, but can benefit your physical and mental health as well.