The idea of what is “normal” is very complex. As explained in Talking about Health by Roxanne Parrott, normal doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. More and more people are becoming obese and developing other health issues and are changing the idea of normal. In class we talked about how the “normal” blood pressure now was seen as unhealthy about thirty years ago. This change in the average of people’s quantitative health is an issue with only having a biomedical perspective. Quantitative health can also be problematic if people are comparing their health to the wrong set of people. The way we as a society judge what is normal is very distorted. Even if the statistics show a certain standard, who you surround yourself with and the different kinds of media you listen to affect your view of “normal”. This is also the problem with qualitative health communication.
The activity that we did on the second day of class really helped me to understand how different peoples’ views of health are. When asked to write down my health history, I only wrote down physical ailments that I had growing up while others wrote down their diet and their activity levels. This change in perspectives showed me the importance of health communication. My perspective of my health was very much just the things that had gone wrong and none of the things that I do to improve my health on an average day. I consider this to be a quantitative viewpoint of my health. This is because I had the perspective I had of my health was the number of times I had to go to the doctor other than for my sports physicals. A combination of quantitative and qualitative communication for health is very important to have an overall understanding of an individual’s health.