Meikirch model

Component 1: Demands of Life

Each living creature has to fulfill the demands life puts on him or her. In man these demands include biological, psychosocial and environmental shares.

The biological demands include access to clean water and adequate amounts of nutrition. In addition appropriate hygiene and protection from cold, wetness and natural catastrophes are needed.

Family schooling and work conditions are important influences

The term psychosocial demands summarizes all influences on the relationship of individuals to their social settings. These start with the mother child relationship and include the family in which a child grows up, the schools, the work place, the partnerships and the leisure activities.

The environmental demands include among others the quality of drinking water, air pollution, environmental poisons, pests and natural catastrophes.

Resources needed to respond to the demands of life

In order to fulfill the demands of life, every human disposes of two types of resources: a biologically given potential and a personally acquired potential. In the Meikirch model resources are called potentials, because they are not only important in the present, but must be available also in the future. This implies that maintenance and further evolution of the resources must be viewed also as an investment into the future.

Scientific background:

Johannes Bircher, Shyama Kuruvilla

Defining health by addressing individual, social, and environmental determinants: New opportunities for health care and public health

Journal of Public Health Policy (2014) 35,363-368.     pdf


Thank you, Shyama Kuruvilla, for your inspiring cooperation.