Philosophic fundamentals of population health study


Methodology is a teaching about method of research study, ways and means of scientific perception of reality, theoretical and practical activity, and ascertainment of truth.

General philosophic and Subject (i.e. methodology of separate scientific disciplines) methodologies are distinguished. 

General philosophic methodology is meant as a teaching about methods and techniques of learning of nature, society and thinking. This trend is called materialistic dialectics.

General philosophic methodology is based on the idea of general development and uses its specific methods and techniques of learning (analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, historical and logical modeling, system-and-structural approach, etc), which are created by human intuition, experience and intellect.


In particular by applying these methods and techniques for learning of objective reality, i.e. phenomena and processes that occur in environment irrespective of people will and consciousness, a man has discovered and formulated common philosophic laws and categories, which reflect general and universal character.

Therefore thoroughness and university of philosophical laws and categories consist in possibility of their application in any area of scientific knowledge and in any scientific discipline.

There are three fundamental laws of materialistic dialectics: 

the law of the transformation of quantity into quality and vice versa;

the law of the unity and strife of opposites;

the law of the negation of the negation.

Besides these laws, materialistic dialectics use such philosophical categories that are also used universally. Examples of such universal categories may be:

-         cause and effect;

-         need and contingency;

-         form and content;

-         the whole and the parts;

-         probability and reality.

It should be noted that in hygiene one of three named general philosophical laws is most often used the law of quantity and quality transformations.

Thus, many environmental factors, social and economic conditions, level of culture etc. may influence the human organism either positively or negatively only as the result of achievement of some quantitative threshold so-called threshold of deleterious effect.


Knowledge of laws and categories of materialistic dialectics helps physicians of different specialization:

First to correctly explain causes of phenomena they observe;

Second to give proof of the research direction;

Third to specify ones position during creation of general concepts and theories.


Except general philosophical methodology, hygiene, as an independent field of medicine, has its own subject methodology.

Subject methodology of hygiene means a set of scientifically based methods and techniques that are used for the study of physical, chemical, biological, external and environmental psychogenic factors and social and economic conditions influence on human organism, and for study of human physiological, living and industrial activity influence on environment.

Method is a way of learning reality, natural phenomena, its regularities and laws.

Technique is a set or a system of particular means, techniques of appropriate fulfillment of some task, scientific research, and a component of the subject methodology.

It should be mentioned here, that medicine in the whole as a research object studies biological characteristics of a man when they are in norm and in pathology and their changes under the effect of different factors.

A specific study object of therapeutic medicine is a sick person. Philosophical category that reflects a condition of a sick person is such concept (category) as the disease. It is important that therapeutic medicine study disease neither of a collective, nor of a group of people but individually, i.e. a particular disease.

Specific study object of preventive medicine, or hygiene, are healthy people (more precisely - practically healthy people). Philosophic category that expresses the state of a healthy man is the health.


In particular specific character of the object under research in hygiene defines need of use of specific techniques for its study.

There are five specific techniques for hygiene:

1.     Epidemiological method of population health study;

2.     Method of sanitary examination: 

- sanitary-topographic;

- sanitary-technical;

- sanitary-epidemiological.

3.     Method of hygienic experiment (full-scale and laboratory);

4.     Method of sanitary expertise;

5.     Method of sanitary education (hygienic training and education of population).

Fundamental difference of these methods and those ones that are used in therapeutic medicine is the fact that they are directed not at diagnostics, but at treatment, not at rehabilitation of a patient, but at definition of the level of population or of an individual person health.

Peculiarity of these methods is that availability and character of relation between population health level and environmental factors or risk factors are assigned with their help.

Therefore, subject methodology means also its specific self-laws and categories that are used for revealing regularity of all external and environmental factors action on people health.

Subject methodology:      

1. Specific laws and categories of materialistic dialectics that reflect its peculiar methods and techniques.

2. Specific laws, principles, postulates and hygiene categories that reflect its peculiar methods and different techniques.

3. Specific methods of hygienic research.

4. Particular hygienic techniques and techniques of other disciplines that are used in a study of population health and external and environmental factors influence on it.

Therefore, hygienic technique schematically may be represented in the form of a cone.

The foundation, the basis of the cone is the general philosophical methodology. It is represented by universal method of reality perception method of materialistic dialectics with its principal laws and categories. Hygienic methods and categories with certain philosophic content like health, disease, biosphere, noosphere, internal and external habitats and environment comes close to this foundation. Then at the top of the cone there come specific hygienic methods and specialized techniques that are used in the hygienic science and practice.


Population health on Earth in past times was characterized by epidemics. Significance of population health problem has recently increased as a result of intensive anthropogenic denaturizing of environment because the state of people health has changed sufficiently and new regularities of people pathology spread and character has appeared. Demographic processes have changed the course of their running.


Therefore, in 80-90-s some scientists-hygienists, such as academicians Yu.G. Goncharuk, G.I. Sydorenko, M.F. Izmerov, Yu.I. Kundyev, professors Yu.V. Voronko, Y.Y. Zvinatskivski, V.G. Bardov, K.A. Bushtuyeva etc. offered an alternative evaluation approach to the state of environment.

This alternative, non-traditional approach can be formulated as follows: The state of environment depends on population health level.

What were the presuppositions for such conclusion?

First: specific weight of the state of environment in population health formation is about 20%.

Second: there are many hygienic standards, but not all factors can be measured and rated thereafter, it is not always possible to follow them.

Third: among 9 principles of sanitary control there is the principle of threshold and the principle of MAC relativity, i.e. any agreed rule of hygiene is not the absolute truth and may be revised. 

First of all it is significant that the category health is a complex concept, which cannot be characterized simply, barely by one index.

On the one hand this concept is a methodological, philosophical one.

On the other hand this must be practical concept, which may be used in everyday activity of medical personnel.

Such lack of health constructive, universal definition causes big difficulties and considerable ambiguity concerning research study results that are related to evaluation of different factor action on people health.

Existing definitions, including ones that are given in the introduction to Statute of the World Health Organization, are based on the principle: health is not only the absence of diseases and corporal defects, but a state of full physical, mental and social well-being, are not quite constructive because in most cases health is interpreted as the absence of disease.

Besides, ideas of social well-being are subjective, and social deficiency of a person is not necessarily the case for being determined (especially by qualitative criteria).

American sociologist-hygienist I.B. Richmond has rightly noticed in his monograph devoted to tendencies of medical aid and education development that medicine has been so much dissolved in different concepts of disease, that we have neither terminology nor classification of health. Especially it relates to social and psychological aspects of health, where only rough terms are used and where required classification is absent.

In order to define the health one must consider the following fundamentals:

1.     there is no absolute health;

2.     individual and population health are inseparable;

3.     health is not characterized by only one factor but by a complex of characteristics;

4.     definition of health is impossible without estimate of correlation between an individual and the environment;

5.     health rating is impossible without load, required tests etc.


Thus, indeed, different meanings of the concept health have the right for existence, but application of each of them is constrained by the purpose of its use.

Therefore, some concepts of health of different content are distinguished:

First it is general pathological (or philosophical) concept of health.

General pathological health is an interval within the limits of which quantitative variations of psycho-physiological processes are able to hold live system on the level of functional optimum (optimal area, within which organism doesnt come out to pathological level of self-regulation).

Second population health, i.e. health of a group of people, community, population.


Population health is a conditionally statistic concept, which is rather fully characterized by demographic factor complex, the level of physical development, disease incidence and frequency of premorbid states, disablement of certain group of population.

Third individual health or health of an individual person.

At the same time individual health should be considered from two viewpoints:

First viewpoint theoretical, as the highest possible optimum for a person, which is to be aspired to ideally, but which is actually very difficult to be achieved.

Individual theoretical health is a state of full social, biological and psychological well-being, when functions of all organs and systems of human organism and environment are balanced; any diseases, disease states and physical states are absent.

Another viewpoint is practical, as the actual characteristic of health level of a definite person.


Individual real health is a state of organism at which it can valuably fulfill its social and biological functions.

There is health complex approach as to a statistical average, which may be characterized by following theses:

1. State of health is defined in groups with identical socio-economic conditions.

2. Normal state of health is a state of those people who form 95% of confidence interval of population.

3. Confidence interval is considered also as an optimal area, within which organism doesnt move to pathological level of self-regulation.

Three basic groups of health rate are used for health characterization:

First group medical indices.

Second group indices of social well-being.

Third group indices of mental health.


First group of medical indices includes:

1)    morbidity rate;

2)    death-rate (common and infantile);

3)    physical development;

4)    disablement.


Second group of social well-being indices includes:

1)    demographic situation;

2)    state of environment;

3)    way of life;

4)    medical care level;

5)    social and hygienic factors.

 Third group of mental health indices includes:

1)    mental disease morbidity;

2)    occurrence frequency of neurotic states and psychopathies;

3)    psychological microclimate.

Also it should be noted that World Health Organization (WHO) has made a list of social well-being criteria. Such list includes:

1) percent of national produce, which is spent on health protection requirements;

According to WHO global average medico-sanitary care spending is 8% of global gross domestic product.

2) availability of medico-sanitary first aid;

There are such national programs in Ukraine as: Children of Ukraine, Family planning, Genetic monitoring, Pancreatic diabetes, Elderly people health, interindustrial program Health of Nation is developed.

3) safe water-supply embracement of population;

4) percentage of individuals who were immunized against six most widely spread among population infectious diseases like: diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, measles, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis.

5) percentage of womankind that are served by qualified personal during pregnancy and childbirth;

6) percentage of children that were born with insufficient body weight (below 2500 g);

7) life expectancy;

8) level of population  sanitary education.


Integral assessment of the population health state assumes some stages of examination.

At the first stage we receive information on factors that indicate the state of population health (e.g. about level of morbidity, death-rate, disablement or physical development) from different information sources.

Such information sources may be:

1) official reports of patient care institutions, hygiene and disease prevention services, agencies of health protection, social maintenance, state statistics, civil registration bureaus;

2) results of retrospective and prospective studies in patient care and prevention institutions;

3) population medical examination data;

4)    clinical, laboratory and instrumental analyses data;

5)    medical and sociological research results polls, questionings of population;

6)    results of mathematical modeling and forecasting.


At the second stage it is necessary to make the integral assessment of health level by having generalized all indices.

For that, conceptual analysis (also called qualitative analysis) and mathematical and statistical analysis are carried out.

As a result of conceptual qualitative analysis population is divided into health groups.

Health groups division criteria may be:

1)     presence or absence of chronic disease;

2)    resistibility of organism;

3)    physical development level;

4)    conformity of morphofunctional indices.


For instance, population division according to its state of health, that was developed in the Institute of Social Hygiene and Health Protection Management named after M.A. Semashko, which is related to registration of presence or absence of chronic diseases during medical examination is following:

First group healthy people.

Second group healthy people with functional deviations and some morphological defects.

Third group ill people with long-term chronicity at retain of organism functional potential (compensated state).

Fourth group ill people with long-term chronicity or individuals with corporal defects, development defects, aftereffect of traumas, lowered functional potential of organism (subcompensated state).

Fifth group infirm people (decompensated state).

Population actual division into health groups is approximately the same as given in table 1.


Table 1

Population division into health groups

Health group

Specific weight of population in group, %



















These data may be used as comparison standard, considering them a relative norm of population.

Another type of analysis is mathematical and statistical (quantitative) analysis. Evaluation of generalized health index of given people group is a result of such analysis.

The final, third, stage of integral assessment of the state of population health is based on the requirement to find out the quantitative interdependence between environmental factors and health groups or indices.

To solve such a task one may use different methods:

1)     personal experience and intuition;

2)    expert's statements;

3)    analysis of literature information;

4)    statistical analysis;

5)    experiment;

6)    mathematical modeling;

7)     system analysis.


Technique of integral assessment of the state of environment includes qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Content of qualitative analysis of the state of environment is based on comparison results of instrumental or laboratory analysis to hygienic standards and their further assessment.

The assessment results may be the following:

-         within standards;

-         at standard level;

-         exceeding the acceptable levels;

-         the ratio of exceeding the acceptable levels.

This is a traditional assessment of the state of environment.

Based on its results one can forecast changes in population health level.

And, vice versa, according to character of changes in population health level one can forecast evaluation of MAC excess of a pollutant.

Thus, if we know the ratio of MAC excess of atmospheric pollutants:

-         one time: typical is that there are no changes in the state of health;

-         twice-thrice: changes in the state of health by some functional indices are observed;

-         4-7 times: marked physiological changes are defined;

-         8-10 times: increase of specific and nonspecific morbidity is typical;

-         100 times: acute poisonings are registered;

-         500 times and more: lethal poisonings will occur.

There are such assessment tables for water, soil and noise.

Such technique is simple, available, but the main disadvantage of it is that it doesnt give an idea of priority pollutants.

Therefore quantitative analysis of the state of environment is carried out.

There are two techniques of such quantitative analysis:

One is the calculation of integral environmental pollution index according to its MAC excess ration.

Another is evaluation in points (numerical score).


Weather forces still are so important in our lives that it makes sense to learn as much as we can about how the atmosphere makes weather.


The weather is a complex of physical features of the nearland atmospheric layer during a relatively short period of time (hours, days, weeks). The weather is characterized by the complex of meteorological elements: solar irradiation, temperature, humidity, air speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, electrical condition of the atmosphere, cloudiness and the presence of precipitations.

Consequently, the weather is a changeable process, as the climate is stable one and it has a prolonged influence upon the human organism.

Weather is a compound of physical properties of near Erath atmosphere till a short period of time (hour, day, week).

Weather as a changable nature is formed in consequence of nature (sun irradiation, circulation of air masses) and human (pollution of atmosphere, distroying of woods, creating of artificial lakes, irigation e.t.c.) factor conetctions.

         Weather is characterized with a complex of heliophysical (intensity of sun radiation), geophysical (voltage of atmosphere electric field, atmospheric ionisation), meteorological (temperature air, atmospheric pressure, speed and course of wind), synoptic (clouds, rainings and snowings) and chemical (composition of near Earth layer of atmosphere) actions.

Weather has a profound effect on human health and well-being. It has been demonstrated that weather is associated with changes in birth rates, with outbreaks of pneumonia, influenza and bronchitis, and is related to other morbi dity effects linked to pollen concentrations and high pollution levels.

Energy Balance in the Atmosphere

Solar energy doesn't strike the whole globe equally. At the equator, the sun is almost directly overhead all year long. Its rays are very intense because it shines through a relatively short column of air (straight down), and energy flux (flow) is high. At the poles, however, sunlight comes in at an oblique angle. The long column of air through which light must pass before it reaches the surface causes much greater energy losses from absorption and scattering. Moreover, when the light does reach the ground, it is spread over a larger area because of its angle of incidence, reducing surface heating even more.


Furthermore, seasonal tilting of the earth's axis means that there is no sunlight at the poles during much of the winter. The equator, by contrast, has days about the same length all year long; thus, compared to the poles, the equatorial regions have an energy surplus. This energy imbalance is evened out by movement of air and water vapor in the atmosphere, and by liquid water in rivers and ocean currents. Warm, tropical air moving toward the poles and cold, polar air moving toward the equator account for about half of this energy transfer. Latent heat in water vapor (mainly from the oceans) makes up about 30 percent of the global energy redistribution. The remaining 20 percent is carried mainly by ocean currents.

Hadley Cells and Prevailing Winds

As air warms at the equator, rises, and moves northward, it doesn't go straight to the pole in a single convection current. Instead, this air sinks and rises in several intermediate bands, forming circulation patterns called Hadley cells. Nor do the returning surface flows within these cells run straight north and south. Friction, drag, and momentum cause air layers close to the earth's surface to be pulled in the direction of rotation. This deflection is called the Coriolis effect. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Coriolis effect deflects winds about 30 to the right of their expected path, creating clockwise or anticyclonic spiraling patterns in winds flowing out of a high-pressure center, and cyclonic or counterclockwise winds spiraling into a low-pressure area. In the Southern Hemisphere, winds and water movements shift in the opposite direction. The earth's rotation affects only large-scale movements, however. Contrary to popular beliefs, water draining out of a bathtub in the Southern Hemisphere is controlled by the shape of the drain, and will not necessarily swirl in the opposite direction from what it would in the north.


A major zone of subsidence occurs at about 30 north latitude. Air flows into this region of low pressure both from the north and south. Air flowing back toward the equator is turned toward the west by the Coriolis effect, creating the steady northeast "trade winds" of subtropical oceans. Their name comes from the dependable routes they provided for merchant sailing ships in earlier days. Where this dry, subsiding air falls on continents, it creates broad, subtropical desert regions (chapter 19). Air flowing north from this region of subsidence turns eastward, giving rise to the prevailing westerlies of middle latitudes. (Notice that an eastward flowing wind is called a west wind or a westerly, due to the direction from which it originates.)

Winds directly under regions of subsiding air often are light and variable. They create the so-called horse latitudes because sailing ships bringing livestock to the New World were often becalmed here and had to throw the bodies of dead horses overboard. Rising air at the equator creates doldrums where the winds may fail for weeks at a time. Another band of variable winds at about 60 north, called the polar front, tends to block the southward flow of cold polar air. As we will see in the next section, however, all these boundaries between major air flows wander back and forth, causing great instability in our weather patterns, especially in midcontinent areas. The Southern Hemisphere has more stable wind patterns because it has more ocean and less landmass than the Northern Hemisphere.

Jet Streams

Superimposed on the major circulation patterns and prevailing surface winds are variations caused by large-scale upper air flows and shifting movements of the large air masses that they push and pull. The most massive of these rivers of air are the jet streams, powerful winds that circulate in shifting flows rivaling the oceanic currents in extent and effect. Generally following meandering paths from west to east, jet streams can be as much as 50 km wide and 5 km deep. The number, flowing speed, location, and size of jet streams all vary from day to day and place to place.


Wind speeds at the center of a jet stream are often 200 km/hr (124 mph) and may reach twice that speed at times. Located 6 to 12 km (3.7-7.5 mi) above the earth's surface, jet streams follow discontinuities in the tropopause (the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere), where they are broken into large, overlapping plates that fit together like shingles on a roof. The jet streams are probably generated by strong temperature contrasts where adjacent plates overlap.

There are usually two main jet streams over the Northern Hemisphere. The subtropical jet stream generally follows a sinuous path about 30 north latitude (the southern edge of the United States), while the northern jet stream follows a more irregular path along the edge of a huge cold air mass called the circumpolar vortex (fig. 17.6) that covers the earth's top like a cap with scalloped edges. This whole polar vortex rotates from west to east slightly faster than the planet's rotation. As it moves, the lobes, or fingers, of cold air that protrude south from the vortex sweep across Canada and the United States. The clash between cold, dry arctic air masses pushing south against warm, wet air masses moving north from the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean brings winds, rains, and storms to the middle of the continent.

During the winter, as the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the sun and the atmosphere cools, the polar air masses become stronger and push further south, bringing snow and low temperatures across much of the United States. During the summer, as we tilt back toward the sun, warm air from the South pushes the polar jet stream back toward the pole.

Occasionally, the circumpolar vortex slows so that it rotates at nearly the same speed as the earth, stalling the motion of the lobes or air masses, and locking a huge ridge of hot, dry air over mid-America for months at a time. What causes airflow to be stalled like thisor to resume normal circulation patternsis unknown; but the amount of heat in the atmosphere surely plays a role.

Frontal Weather

The boundary between two air masses of different temperature and density is called a front. Fronts may be moving or stationary. When cooler air displaces warmer air, we call the moving boundary a cold front. Since cold air tends to be more dense than warm air, a cold front will hug the ground and push under warmer air as it advances. As warm air is forced upward, it cools adiabatically (without loss or gain of energy), and its cargo of water vapor condenses and precipitates. Upper layers of a moving cold air mass move faster than those in contact with the ground because of surface friction or drag, so the boundary profile assumes a curving, "bull-nose" appearance. Notice that the region of cloud formation and precipitation is relatively narrow. Cold fronts generate strong convective currents and often are accompanied by violent surface winds and destructive storms. An approaching cold front generates towering clouds called thunderheads that reach into the stratosphere where the jet stream pushes the cloud tops into a characteristic anvil shape. The weather after the cold front passes is usually clear, dry, and invigorating.

If the advancing air mass is warmer than local air, a warm front results. Since warm air is less dense than cool, air, an advancing warm front will slide up over cool, neighboring air parcels, creating a long, wedge-shaped profile with a broad band of clouds and precipitation. Gradual uplifting and cooling of air in the warm front avoids the violent updrafts and strong convection currents that accompany a cold front. A warm front will have many layers of clouds at different levels. The highest layers are often wispy cirrus (mare's tail) clouds that are composed mainly of ice crystals. They may extend 1,000 km (621 mi) ahead of the contact zone with the ground and appear as much as forty-eight hours before any precipitation. A moist warm front can bring days of drizzle and cloudy skies.

FRONT: The transition zone between two distinct airmasses. The basic frontal types are cold fronts, warm fronts and occluded fronts.

OCCLUDED FRONT: A complex frontal system that occurs when a cold front overtakes a warm front. Also known as an occlusion.

ANTICYCLONE: A large area of high pressure around which the winds blow clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.

COLD FRONT: The boundary between a cold air mass that is advancing and a relatively warmer airmass. Generally characterized by steady precipitation followed by showery precipitation.

CYCLONE: An area of low pressure around which winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Also the term used for a hurricane in the Indian Ocean and in the Western Pacific Ocean.


Hygienic meaning of weather is coused by its direct and indirect influence on the human organism.

Direct influence of the weather is called by warmness exchange of human. Indirect influence of the weather on the human organism is made by action of aperiodic changes of weather situation, that conflicts with common human rythms of physiologic functions (biorythms) and cause meteoneurologic conditions with disadaptic origin heliometeotropic (meteotropic) reactionsand diseases. Meteotropic reactions  caused by changes of weather appears in healthy people, but in meteodepending people  appears a weather-somatic syndrome (bad feeling, disorders of dreams, appearing of worry feeling, decreasing on capasity, fast feeling tired), meteotropic diseases appears in patients with chronic diseases of cardiovascular, respiratory or others systems, which become acuting by means of sharp weather changes.

The importance of determining the role of weather in human health cannot be understated. There are numerous other impacts of weather on the general health of the population, including morbidity, short-term changes in mood, emotional well-being, and aberratio ns from normal behavior. For example, asthma attacks, many of which occur from inhalation of airborne agents such as spores and molds, appear to be related to various meteorological variables. Goldstein (1980) found that clusters of attacks are preceded by the passage of a cold front followed by a high pressure system. Morbidity attributed to pneumonia, influenza, bronchitis, and probably many other illnesses is also weather-related.

   Last year investigation has shown high adecvadity for medical foreseeing of weather and next profilactics of meteotropic reactions of weather classification.

Each of seven weather types has its own synoptic situation. Hygienic value of biotropness of each weather type is made with taking into account of intradayly meteoelements changing stage. There are five stages of weather changing: indiferent, weak, moderate, expressed, sharply expressed.

So hygienic value of impositve weather conditions, their medical interpritation play the main  role inthe profilactics of heliometeotropic reactions, they allowed to indicate terms of profilactics of cardiovascular diseases, making of optimal microclimat of rooms, right choce of closes.


The climate of an area, as previously noted, is the synthesis of the weather conditions that have prevailed there over a long period of time (usually 30 years). This synthesis involves both averages of the climatic elements and measurements of variability (such as extreme values and probabilities). Climate is a complex, abstract concept involving data on temperature, humidity, precipitation type and amount, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, sunshine, cloud types and coverage, and such weather phenomena as fog, thunderstorms, and frost And the relationships among them. As such, no two localities on Earth may be said to have exactly the same climate. Nevertheless, it is readily  apparent that, over restricted areas of the planet, climates vary within a limited range and that climatic regions are discernible within which some uniformity is apparent in the patterns of climatic elements. Moreover, widely separated areas of the world possess similar climates, which tend to recur in similar geographic relationships to each other. This symmetry and organization of the climatic environment suggests an underlying worldwide regularity and order in the phenomena causing climate (e.g..patterns of radiation, atmospheric pressure, winds, fronts, and air masses), which were discussed in earlier sections. 



Human organism exists constantly interacting with the environment, one of the most important components of which is a climate. Tropic Hygiene is marked out as a special field of Hygiene owing to the fact, the climate of tropics has a great influence upon the hygienic life conditions and the conditions of human health.

The climate is a long-term weather regimen, corresponding to the geographical country and repeating appropriately.

Main climate-forming factors are: the latitude of the country and the intensity of solar irradiation, the appropriateness of atmospheric circulation, the type of land surface (dry land, relief, water and so on), the closeness of seas and oceans.

Climate-weather conditions have a direct or mediated influence upon people. The examples of direct influence are: the action of weather conditions upon human heat exchange, ultra-violet rays of solar radiation - upon the exchange of calcium. The latter is a very important thing for the prophylaxis of rickets.

Mediated action of climate is connected with the influence upon the character of human household and working activity, upon the pathological agents of infectious diseases and their carriers. The last fact conditions the geographical specificity of spread of different diseases. That's why regional climatic conditions must be taken into consideration during the working out of hygienic recommendations for the civil (living houses, hospitals) and industrial buildings, rational nourishment and way of life, for the choice of adequate clothes and footwear, work and rest regimen, prevention of diseases and education of the future generations. In his "Aphorisms" Hyppocratus said, that the diseases proceeded differently in different climatic conditions. He offered climate therapy for the treatment and health improvement, which was widely  practiced at present. Usually certain climate is spread over the large area about hundreds and even thousands kilometers. However, some regions of this large area can differ by their climate-weather conditions from other ones. That's why such a notion as microclimate was approved in climatology (the science about the Earth's climate).  It means the features of physical condition of the near land layer above relatively small plot of land. So, we can speak about the microclimate of the wood, field, sea-coast, mountain slopes, oriented to the parts of the world differently, about the microclimate of vale, town, street and so on.

Now, many sciences adjoining to the climatology, are developed. Medical climatology studies the influence of climate-weather conditions upon the human organism and works out the methods of using climatic factors with the treatment and prophylactic aim. Medical geography studies the appropriateness of influence of climatic and social-economic conditions upon hygienic life conditions, health conditions and features of infectious and non-infectious diseases spread in different geographical regions. The materials of investigations are widely used in the working out and planning of corresponding programs and prophylaxis.

Most of people gradually adapt to every climate. The adaptation physiological reactions are based on reflexes, which are mobilized under the action of heat or cold. The development of human pathological conditions under the influence of hot tropical climate can be caused by some interconnected factors:

  1) the disturbance of thermoregulation;

  2) the disturbance of regulation of water-electrolyte balance;

  3) the disturbance of cardio-vascular regulation.

Under the influence of heat, mainly physical and partially chemical phases of thermoregulation are activated. Heat emission increases and heat-production decreases. Both processes act at the same time. But in hot conditions the chemical thermoregulation isn't as powerful as the physical one.

In dry hot climate the evaporation proceeds easily. By 29 C heat emission increases from 12% to 70%. But, if the humidity grows on, the air cannot absorb water and heat. The thermoregulation becomes disturbed and the over-heating develops. In such conditions the air movement is very important for the comfort.

The acclimatization for the hot climate is a process of adaptation to the increased heat loads. It is shown as the lowering of muscular tone, the intensification of thermoregulation, the ability to make much sweat in proportion to heat load and to lower salt concentration in sweat, by the inadequate liquid intake.

It is found out that the acclimatization has some phases:

v    Stage of alarm (the first hours in a new environment)

v    Replacement of the old dynamic stereotype

v    Incomplete acclimatization

v    Complete acclimatization

Physiological changes can turn into pathological ones under certain conditions. Mental health has a great importance for the acclimatization.

Most of people, being in tropical countries, are able to acclimatize in 3 weeks. Some people with the good thermoregulatory abilities can acclimatize in 5-7 days. But there are some people very sensitive to the heat stress, who cannot acclimatize at all.

There are some clinical and experimental data, which are evidence of the advisability of human preliminary training to the action of high temperature to get quick acclimatization. It is realized by the daily staying in a heat chamber, where we can model different types of hot climate. Muscular work facilitates the adaptation to the hot.

The clothes, the formation of artificial microclimate (air conditioning) have a great importance for the organism protection from surplus heat and solar irradiation.

The breach of water-salt exchange under the influence of surplus heat is characterized by the next syndromes:

1)     hyposodiumaemia (the syndrome of salt insufficiency) and

2)     simple dehydration without salt loss.

In hot climate we usually meet dehydration, but sometimes we can observe both syndromes.

There is no one complete classification of heat exhaustion. Most of authors mark out the next basic forms:

Heat fever. Hyperpyrexia - is an acute overheating of the organism, caused by the disturbance of thermoregulation in hot climate, in hot period of the year, during stay in over-heated premises (hot shops). Usually it is observed in untrained newly arrived in tropics or hot countries. Under the influence of heat, their thermoregulatory system becomes exhausted. Hyperthermal diseases (malaria, tropical jungle), alcohol intoxication, vegetative dystony, etc have an influence upon the occurrence of heat hyperpyrexia.

The clinical course is variable. The symptoms of heat stroke occur during the maximum insolation and sometimes after the patient has come from the sun to the shade. If you bring the patient out of hyperthermal zone in prodromal period of the disease, help him quickly, the reaction is characterized by faint, feeling of closeness, weakness, a little increase of temperature, the dilation of pupils, dyspnoe.

In severe cases, the symptoms grow quickly. After the repeated faints with the dramatic adynamia, a severe headache, weakness in legs, tachycardia, sleepiness, sickness, frequent, superficial breathing, the squeezing in the chest develop. The skin is dry. Other symptoms are oliguria, photophobia, the hyperaemia of the face and conjunctives, narrow pupils. Salt insufficiency does not always occur. Then, we can observe a severe neurological condition: the increasing headache, excitement. Muscular fibrillations, epileptoid convulsions often occur. The breathing is superficial, frequent, and irregular. Body temperature increases up to 41-43 C. The patient loses consciousness, his pupils are dilated and don't react to the light, the pulse is faint, filiform, the peripheral blood supply is decreased. The skin is dry, hot or covered with sticky sweat. The face is pale, cyanotic. The defecation is irregular. Abdominal reflexes are lowered or absent. Usually we can reveal albuminuria. The shock develops

The prophylaxis. It is necessary to avoid the prolonged stay in the open sun with the uncovered head. The next measures are: rational work conditions, clothes, right water regimen, the training of acclimatization.

Heat exhaustion.

1) with mainly salt insufficiency.

The most considerable predisposing factors are abundant perspiration with the unrestored water and salt loss, gastro-intestinal disorders with  vomiting and diarrhea. This type of heat exhaustion is usually met during hard physical work in hot conditions. The disturbance of water-salt balance (hyposodiumaemia) and vascular insufficiency occur in the first place.

The clinical course. The patient complains of headache, the absence of appetite, sickness, vomiting. Gradually, painful muscular spasms mainly in the muscles of calves and feet develop. It is typical of the patients with the repeated vomiting. Other symptoms are oliguria, vertigo, ataxia, and hallucinations. In severe cases the excitement, turning into the sharp inhibition of mental activity and even coma develop. We can observe the signs of organism dehydration, orthostatic unsteadiness, vascular insufficiency with the decrease of circulating blood volume, the increase of its viscosity, hematocrit, the number of RBC. In this case the condition could be accompanied by anuria and necrosis of renal canals. Chlorides concentration in urine is lowered. Hyposodiumaemia and hypochlorideaemia are found out in blood.

2) heat exhaustion with mainly water insufficiency.

Easy cases are met in the everyday life in tropics (when water loss isn't restored). The expressed forms occur seldom (for example, when the man stays in a desert for a long time). In mild cases the patient complains of headache, vertigo, weakness, oliguria, a little increase of body temperature. In severe cases, the complaints are: thirst, vascular collapses, difficult swallowing. The tongue and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity are dry. Body weight is decreased. Other  symptoms are dyscoordination, coma quickly leading to death. Sometimes, the fit of hyperpyrexia precedes the death.

The prophylaxis. The regulation of water regimen should be followed during the whole hot season. Daily quantity of water is determined by the conditions of environment, the intensity of muscular work, the peculiarities of metabolism, the quantity and quality of food. The surplus and irregular drinking leads to the uneffective perspiration. It is recommended to use: 0.5% solution of sodium chloride, green tea, iced acidulated tea, mineral water, fizzy water. It is advisible to add some condensed milk to drinking water. Tomato juice with the table salt, raw fruits, water-melon, melon; grape-fruit, lemon, orange juice, tamarind juice, soft mineral drinks slake the thirst. The shower, bathing promote the prophylaxis of over-heating. It is necessary to avoid use alcohol and it is very important to follow the rules of personal hygiene and day regime.

Climate change and health

Climate influences many of the key determinants of health: temperature extremes and violent weather events; the geographical range of disease vectors; the quantity of air, food, and water; and the stability of the ecosystems which we depend on.

Because climate affects us in so many ways and because the details of how the global climate may change are so uncertain, prediction of the health effects of climate change is an inexact science at best. But given what is already known about the connection between climate and health and the magnitude of the global warming that scientists project, predict that future health effects can be substantial. These effects are likely to vary widely from region to region, because climate itself is predicted to change differently in various regions. For instance, temperatures are expected to rise more in some areas than others; some places will likely get drier, while others will get more rain than they do nowadays.

Health impacts of climate change include direct effects from temperature and weather extremes and from sea-level rise. A number of indirect impacts are also likely to arise from changes in precipitation and temperature patterns, which may disturb natural ecosystems, change the ecology of infectious diseases, harm agriculture and freshwater supplies, exacerbate air pollution levels, and cause large-scale reorganization of plant and animal communities. These indirect effects may, in the long run, have greater cumulative impacts on human health than the direct effects.

The weather and climate have a great direct and indirect influence on human beings and their health.


Influence of the weather situation on the human organism. More information with the data sheet: Classes of weather:

Wetterklassen.pdf, 1.2 MB

Atmospheric conditions influence the growth and development of almost all life forms. Weather and climate also have an influence on man and his health. We can differentiate between direct and indirect meteorological influences.

 Direct influences


The most important direct influences are extreme weather situations, such as storms (hurricanes), extreme heat or cold, floods, drought or avalanches. All of these occurrences can endanger the health and even the lives of human beings. The damaging effects of too much UV radiation have also been proven. In particular, an increase in the incidence of skin cancer and eye cataracts has been established. Another of the direct influences is what we know as "meteorosensitivity". 30 to 50% of the population suffer under certain weather conditions. Well known in this respect are the influence of the Föhn wind, the Bise (a cold wind in Switzerland) and changes in the weather in general. The symptoms of meteorosensitivity are manifold. It is accepted that the weather can be an extra stress factor, as the human organism has to adapt to changing conditions in the atmosphere (changes in the weather).

 Indirect influences

Human health is indirectly influenced by pathogens, air pollution and allergies. Many transmitters of illnesses are dependent on meteorological conditions. The distribution of air pollutants is also closely related to meteorology. Air pollution can have a negative influence on people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma or chronic bronchitis. Allergies can be triggered by, amongst other things, pollen, fungal spores or dust mites.

 Positive influences

Although these negative influences exist, we must not forget the positive ones. For centuries we have known about the beneficial effects on our well-being of a stay at a health resort in the mountains or beside the sea. Meteorological elements such as sunshine, wind and certain temperature conditions stimulate the human organism. Also, a specific dose of UV radiation is vital for human health (it helps the body manufacture Vitamin D).

 Health and global warming

Because of increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we can count on a warmer climate. Changes in air temperature, air humidity, UV radiation and precipitation affect human health both directly and indirectly. For example, mild winters can reduce the number of deaths caused by the cold, whereas hot summer temperatures can increase the death rate. Pathogens are able to develop and spread more rapidly. This could mean that, in the future, malaria may crop up in areas where it is not to be found today.


: Weather and Health


 To characterize weather changeability they often use index of weather changeability:

:, where

K - index of weather changeability

N number of days with contrast changes of weather

n number of days in studied period

If  K is more than 30%  - the weather regimen is changeable.

They use for predicting weather impacts on human health and for prevention of weather-related (meteotropic) diseases some medical classifications of weather. The most known are Fedorovs and Grigorievs classifications.

Classification of the weather by A. Fedorov


Temperature overfalls

Athmosperic pressure overfalls

Air movement velocity



4 mb

2-3 m/s



8 mb

6-7 m/s



> 8 mb

>9 m/s

Acute weather is risky for heart attacks, strokes and developing complications of the chronic diseases. Irritative weather occurs exacerbations of chronic diseases and infectious diseases.

Classification of the weather by I. Grigoriev


Atmospheric pressure


Temperature overfalls

Pressure overfalls

Oxygen content

Very favorable

>760 mm Hg

0-3.0 m/s


0-5 mm Hg

315 mg/l and more


755-760 mm Hg

4.0-7.0 m/s


6-8 mm Hg

Need medical control

745-754 mm Hg

8.0-10.0 m/s


9-14 mm Hg

289-260 mg/l

Need strict medical control

<745 mm Hg



>15 mm Hg

<260 mg/l


Medical classification of weather by I.I.Grygoriev (1974)

Types of weather

Characteristics of the weather

Very favorable

Constant weather which is mainly created by anticyclone, absence of noticeable cloudiness, rain. Atmospheric pressure is higher than 760 mm Hg, wind is 0-3,0 m/sec, pressure change is not more than5 mm Hg, oxygen content is more than 315 mgm/l.


Light changes of the weather of local character, short-time rain and changeable cloudiness. Atmospheric pressure is 760-755 mm Hg, wind is 4,0-7,0 m/sec, pressure change is 6-8 mm Hg, temperature change is not more than 5C, oxygen content is more than 315 mgm/l. 

Weather that needs increased medical control

Cloudy, changeable weather, rain, often created by moderate cyclone, storms of local origin. Atmospheric pressure is 754-745 mm Hg, wind is 8,0-10,0 m/sec, pressure change is 9,0-14,0 mm Hg, temperature change is 6,0-9,0C, oxygen content is 260-289 mgm/l.

Weather that needs strict medical control

Weather is conditioned by deep cyclone, storms, intensive rain. Atmospheric pressure is lower than 745 mm Hg, pressure change is more than 14,0 mm Hg, temperature change is more than 10C. Oxygen content is 260 mgm/l.


: Weather and our Physical Health


 Weather and our Physical Health

It is true that we can be 'under the weather'. Weather has short and long term effects on our bodies and this is studied by scientists called bio meteorologists. It affects the death rate and is linked to seasonal illnesses such as winter flu, sunstroke, or hay fever. Some people claim that they can feel changes in the weather with aches and pains worsening and the onset of headaches. Some sufferers of rheumatism or arthritis even notice changes in atmospheric pressure affecting the fluid around their joints.

Our bodies react differently to the weather depending on our age, sex, or general state of health as well as where we actually live. These reactions are linked to our endocrine system, the system of glands which regulates the production of hormones in our bodies, and which is affected by pain, stress and the weather. One in three people are thought to be sensitive to the changing weather but the old, young and the chronically ill suffer more, and women are generally more sensitive than men.

How Weather affects us

To protect itself from too much heat or cold the body sweats or shivers. When we sweat, perspiration evaporates from the skin and cools you down. When we shiver muscles twitch and give off heat. In extreme heat our heart rate rises, blood vessels expand to let more blood reach the skin's surface (blushing helps us to cool down) and we sweat more. This can cause fainting, sunstroke and rashes, but the combination of dehydration and loss of blood from the central nervous system can lead to collapse. Elderly people are most affected by the heat but many young men drown each year trying to cool off with a swim or a paddle. The contrast between a high body temperature and the cold water can cause cramp especially if people swim after eating or drinking. In extreme cold our bodies react by closing blood vessels to keep the blood away from the skin and retain heat. However, for old people with poor circulation this can lead to a cycle of falling body temperature, inactivity, a further fall in body temperature and eventually death. Every winter the death rate rises because of this hypothermia, but other illnesses such as winter colds and flu can develop into pneumonia and bronchitis which can be very dangerous for those who are fragile. See weather dangers for more about the affects of extreme heat and cold.

Hayfever is an allergy to airborne pollen grains and it is at its worst during the early summer - exam period for schoolchildren and students who often rely on anti-histamine drugs to help them manage its ill-effects such as itchy eyes and dripping nose. Air pollution especially affects people with chronic lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. The famous London smogs killed thousands of people when smoke from factories and house fires converted ordinary fog into lethal smog. These only stopped after the Clean Air Act of 1956 which outlawed smoke from coal fired chimneys. Today a new form of smog caused mainly by traffic exhaust emissions is giving us problems with air quality in some areas. You can look up a Pollution Index and a Pollen Index on this site.

The ultra violet (UV) rays of the sun can cause the skin to burn if unprotected. Habitual sun-worshippers are most at risk, but even a single over-exposure to UV rays can permanently damage the skin. Fair-skinned people tend to get sunburnt more easily than people with darker skin which contains a lot of melanin, a brown pigment which acts as a shield against the harmful rays. There has been a dramatic increase in skin cancers, with cases of the most lethal, melanoma, doubling every ten years. Now that we are aware of the link between sun damage and skin cancers we can protect ourselves by using sunscreen creams. However we also have to be aware that the effect of the sun's rays increases according to the height and strength of the sun and in some parts of the world the ozone layer has been partially depleted allowing more of the harmful UV rays to get through. The Sun Index measures this and can be found on this site.

Sunshine is good for us in small quantities and is needed by our bodies to make vitamin D which is important for healthy growth. Too little sunshine can cause rickets which occurs when a lack of vitamin D prevents the bones growing properly. This was common in Victorian times but has been virtually eradicated in the UK because of healthier diets and greater exposure to sunlight.

Different weather has benefits for health, and climatotherapy is the idea of recommending different weather conditions for different illnesses. Patients with tuberculosis or blood diseases were often sent to mountain resorts with their lower levels of water vapour and higher ozone levels. Seaside resorts were considered to be good for the health with the sea air being rich in sodium and iodine vital for the healthy functioning of the body. The seaside climate is also recommended for those suffering from such chronic illnesses as bronchitis and rheumatism. In some cases we create an artifical environment by using ionisers, air conditioning or humidifiers. This can be bad for the health too and bad air conditioning systems have been blamed for Sick Building Syndrome in which increased concentrations of germs, bacteria and other pollutants like cigarette smoke cause a wide variety of health complaints.

: Our morale is affected by weather

Weather and our Psychological Health

Bio meteorologists have noted that our morale and state of mind can be affected by changes in the weather. In particular, heat waves have been seen to affect tiredness, headaches, insomnia, bad temper and forgetfulness. It is harder to work productively in over-heated environments, and incidents of road rage and accidents increase when the mercury rises. In hot weather the body produces chemicals which impair judgement and reduce concentration. Adding in the traffic jams during holiday periods and the mechanical problems that increase, it is probably better to stay off the road altogether.

Weather and Depression

Serious mental conditions such as schizophrenia and manic depression are said to worsen with changes in the weather, and suicide rates are affected too. Hot weather is also linked with higher levels of street violence and attacks, as well as rioting and unrest. The hot dry Fohn and Scirocco winds are said to damage the health - in Germany the accident, crime and suicide rates rise during the Fohn, whilst the Scirocco is said to cause madness.

Winter weather brings us a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. This is a type of clinical depression linked with the lack of sunlight during the winter months. It causes lethargy, sadness, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep but it is still argued by some that this is just a bout of mid-winter blues rather than an actual illness. It has been treated successfully in many cases by exposing patients to strong artificial daylight and some people buy special 'daylight' bulbs for their house plants and themselves!

10 Weather Phobias

   Brontophobia - Fear of thunder

   Astrapophobia - Fear of lightning

   Anemophobia - Fear of wind

   Chionophobia - Fear of snow

   Cryophobia - Fear of ice and frost

   Heliophobia - Fear of the Sun and light

   Homichlophobia - Fear of fog

   Nephelophobia - Fear of clouds

   Ombrophobia - Fear of rain

   Psychrophobia - Fear of cold



Climate Change

The Earth's climate is in a state of continuous but very slow change and has changed or fluctuated many times in the last 4,000 million years. The evidence for this can be found in rocks, fossils and old landforms, such as glaciated mountains, fossil sand dunes, and coal deposits which are the relics of ancient tropical forests. Until very recently it was the opinion of most scientists that major climatic changes, such as the retreat of the ice at the end of the last ice age some 10,000-20,000 years ago, were slow and gradual. It was also though that, while the climate might fluctuate over short periods of 30-100 years, this was around an average or norm not very different to that of the last 4,000 years.

Recently, doubt has been cast on these assumptions and the subject of climatic change has become a matter of great concern. Firstly it is believed that humans may now be responsible for causing significant changes of climate with harmful consequences. Secondly, it is now known that past changes of climate, such as the onset of ice ages, occurred more rapidly than had at one time been thought; namely over less than a century rather than over several hundred years.

How Serious is Climate Change?

There is no reason to believe that over the next ten to twenty years, the climate in particular parts of the world will be very different. Occasional extreme events or spells of weather such as occur at present, may well mask any longer-term change and make human influence on the weather difficult to detect for some time to come. One extreme winter or summer does not necessarily make for a change of climate. Yet such changes are though to be occurring and will be increasingly evident in the next fifty years. Even if drastic and immediate action is taken by the countries of the world to mitigate the effects of harmful pollutants such as CO2 and CFCs the consequences of the present levels of damage may be apparent for the next hundred years.

Recently on the Earth a new temperature record (only existing since 1500s) shows that the planet has warmed distinctly from the 1500s and especially from the 1960s to the present day. A number of factors are thought to contribute to this: atmospheric pollution from manufacturing and cars and the increasing deforestation from logging and forest fires. By combining all of these factors - the temperature records, the increase in carbon dioxide and our climate models we are able to show much of this change in climate is due to increasing greenhouse gases. We can forecast for the future that the trend will continue unless greenhouse gases are curbed.


Acid Rain

Nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide combine with water to produce dilute sulphuric and nitric acid. Burning fossil fuels (especially coal) produces large quantities of sulphur dioxide gas. Vehicle exhausts produce large quantities of nitrogen oxide gas. Some of the pollution emitted by factories and vehicles combines with water in the atmosphere to produce acid rain. In addition to killing many trees where it falls, acid rain enters rivers and lakes, where it kills fish and other aquatic animals.


Global Warming

Less than 15,000 years ago, an ice sheet covered much of Europe and North America. Since then, the global climate has naturally got warmer. Some scientists, however, have recently become concerned that human activity is accelerating the pace of global warming. The carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere has been increasing from an average value of 290 parts per million in the late 19th century to some 350 parts per million in 1990.

This is almost certainly a result of the great increase in the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, which when burned, release CO2 into the atmosphere at a faster rate than it can be absorbed by vegetation or the oceans. The destruction of the forests, particularly in the tropics, adds to this effect. Forest clearance - smoke from a burning rainforest can be seen from Space. Most scientific evidence suggests that the persistent use of such methods to clear large areas of land is changing the Earth's climate. But it is still unclear exactly what will be the result of these changes.

Some estimates suggest that by the year 2050 the CO2 content of the atmosphere may be double its present level. CO2 is called a 'greenhouse' gas because in the atmosphere it acts, together with cloud and water vapour to trap outgoing longwave radiation just as the glass in a greenhouse does. Thus an increase in this green house effect would raise the Earth's surface temperature. The precise magnitude of this effect is uncertain; estimates range from 1-5 degrees C (2-9 degrees F). The effect would probably be greatest in high latitudes and least in the tropics. The present pattern of climatic types could be drastically changed: some areas would benefit from the greater warmth but other areas could experience reduce rainfall, seasonal drought, or more frequent severe storms. In the longer term the polar icecaps would melt and sea levels rise. At present evidence for the beginning of such changes is by no means clear, but a slight increase in the surface temperatures in the sea may be the first sign of this effect.

Since the Industrial Revolution and the great increase in the use of fossil fuels, industrial areas and great cities have experienced pollution in the form of smoke and sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. This visible air pollution has been much reduced in the second half of the 20th century with the growing use of electrical energy. In large British towns, such as London, Birmingham, and Manchester, despite the increase of pollution from vehicle exhausts, the air is now much cleaner and fogs less dense and frequent than was the case in the early decades of the century. However when electricity is produced in large thermal power stations burning oil and coal the gases released from the high chimneys are carried downwind for long distance.

It is thought that this is one of the main causes of the acid rain which in quite rural areas has been blamed for leaf loss or the death of trees and the destruction of fish in freshwater lakes where this acid rainwater accumulates. Areas particularly affected are parts of Scandinavia, central Europe, and eastern Canada, and this is blamed on industrial emissions from factories and power stations in Britain, central and eastern Europe and the United States.


Ozone Hole

Ozone is a gas that exists in very small amounts in the atmosphere but is particularly concentrated at high levels, about 30 km (100,000ft) up in the stratosphere. This layer protects the earth from some of the harmful effects of solar radiation in the ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths

During the 1980s measurement of the ozone concentration in the stratosphere over the Antarctic shoed a rapid decrease in the winter months - the ozone hole. The cause of this decrease is thought to be the release into the atmosphere of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFC gases are used in the manufacture of some types of plastic foam and are used in refrigerators and as propellants for aerosols.

A reduction or thinning of this high level ozone layer would increase the risk of skin cancers in humans and have harmful effects on some crops, animals and zooplankton, giving higher surface temperatures. Chemical changes in the upper atmosphere as a result of the loss of ozone would also reinforce the greenhouse effect.




Since the Industrial Revolution and the great increase in the use of fossil fuels, industrial areas and great cities have experienced pollution in the form of smoke and sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. This visible air pollution has been much reduced in the second half of the 20th century with the growing use of electrical energy. In large British towns, such as London, Birmingham, and Manchester, despite the increase of pollution from vehicle exhausts, the air is now much cleaner and fogs less dense and frequent than was the case in the early decades of the century.

Damage Done

However when electricity is produced in large thermal power stations burning oil and coal the gases released from the high chimneys are carried downwind for long distance. It is thought that this is one of the main causes of the acid rain which in quite rural areas has been blamed for leaf loss or the death of trees and the destruction of fish in freshwater lakes where this acid rainwater accumulates. Areas particularly affected are parts of Scandinavia, central Europe, and eastern Canada, and this is blamed on industrial emissions from factories and power stations in Britain, central and eastern Europe and the United States.

When pollution is trapped near the ground by a temperature inversion, smog can form. Smog is a thick dirty poisonous fog. Some of the chemicals in pollution are changed by the action of sunlight to produce an even more dangerous photochemical smog. Controls on vehicle exhaust emissions help to reduce smog but it is a growing problem and cities on every continent are now afflicted by it. Quite apart from the problems caused by reduced visibility, smog is a medical hazard. People suffering from chest illnesses are especially risk. During the 1950s smogs killed thousands of Londoners and hospitalised many more.


Human Activities

Many of our activities are damaging the natural balance of the Earth. From deforestation to over-farming, pollution to dam building, we are permanently changing many landscapes and their associated weather and climate.

Why is this bad?

People can change the weather, at least in some places some of the time. In Russia, rockets loaded with chemicals are sometimes used to "seed" thunderstorms. The chemical seeding can make storm clouds release hail before the hailstones have grown big enough to damage valuable crops.

Unfortunately the changes that people have so far produced have been mostly unintended and undesirable. Much of the water that would normally enter the lake known as the Aral Sea, has been diverted for irrigation purposes. As a result, the Aral Sea, a lake on the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, has now shrunk to about half its former size. People who lived along the shores of the lake, now find themselves inhabiting an artificially produced desert.

Human Health

The chemical seeding can make storm clouds release hail before the hailstones have grown big enough to damage valuable crops.

Unfortunately the changes that people have so far produced have been mostly unintended and undesirable. Much of the water that would normally enter the lake known as the Aral Sea, has been diverted for irrigation purposes. As a result, the Aral Sea, a lake on the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, has now shrunk to about half its former size. People, who lived along the shores of the lake, now find themselves inhabiting an artificially produced desert.

The climate we live in affects many areas of our lives. The quality of the food we eat, the water we drink and our homes are all dependent on our climate and weather. Some scientists have suggested that a warmer world will be a sicker world. While there is not complete agreement that this will be the case, the Department of Health have looked at the likely health consequences in the UK.


Our changing climate

Climate researchers predict that the UK climate will become warmer, with high temperatures in the summer becoming more frequent and very cold winters more rare. Winters will become wetter with heavier rain more common.

Direct effects

With winters becoming milder, there are likely to be up to 20,000 fewer cold-related deaths. However, there is a danger that bacteria would no longer die-off seasonally during the prolonged cold spell meaning that diseases may spread more widely.

More heat waves will increase the number of hot-weather related deaths by up to 2,800. Exposure to higher levels of UV light could cause an extra 5,000 deaths a year from skin cancer and may cause an increase of up to 2,000 cases of cataracts. Warmer summers may cause up to 10,000 extra cases of food poisoning each year.

Higher average global temperatures mean that diseases, or their carriers, may be able to move to areas that were previously too cold for them to survive. It is possible that a mild strain of malaria will become established in localised parts of the UK for up to four months of the year.

Researchers have also identified other diseases, such as Lyme disease, cholera, dengue fever and yellow fever, that could spread into previously inhospitable areas and therefore affect a wider population. The weather has been shown to be associated with changes in birth rates, sperm counts, outbreaks in pneumonia, influenza and bronchitis.

Secondary effects

Globally, there are likely to be more floods, more droughts and more storms, which will be accompanied by damage to our homes, food and water supplies and impact on our general health. An increase in flooding will promote the spread of water-borne diseases plus the growth of fungi, while droughts encourage white flies, locusts and rodents, all affecting food and water supplies and health.

Evidence abroad

The World Health Organization and NASA scientists have been studying the relationship between outbreaks of Ebola in Africa and weather patterns. They believe that a rare climate pattern may precede outbreaks of the disease. However, the natural reservoir of Ebola is still unknown - the current favourite culprits are mice or shrews, although there are theories that favour certain plants whose reproductive cycles are directly linked to weather patterns.

Another example was found in edible oysters - warmer winters in the 1990s allowed a parasite previously confined to warmer waters to spread north and infect oysters along the east coast of the US.

The future

Climate change is likely to have an unequal impact on the world population. Those living in poor and developing countries are going to be less able to adapt to changes. The effects on general UK health are likely to be less severe than in other parts of the world. Health impacts are not likely to be confined to the human population - wildlife will also be severely affected.

What is Temperature?

When we describe what a place is like, temperature is one of the first things we notice. Is it hot, cool, cold; comfortable or only just bearable? Most of us know what temperatures suit us best, but people become used to the range of temperatures in the country where they live.

Why is it Important?

We measure temperature in degrees Celsius, or degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, for humans, temperatures below 18 degrees C (64 degrees F) are a little cool for just sitting around. Those above 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) are a little too hot for strenuous exercise. Temperatures are measured in the shade generally, so that the heat of the Sun does not affect the measurement by actually heating up the instrument being used. In the Sun, temperatures can be as much as 10-15 degrees C (18-27 degrees) higher in calm weather, but much less in windy conditions. The same temperatures will not necessarily produce the same feeling of heat or cold indoors as distinct from outdoors, where wind, sun and humidity also play a part.

   Wind is simply moving air which exerts a force in things making them move to the point of least resistance. That is why things designed for speed, in the air or in water, are often smooth and curved so that they are not slowed down by the force of the wind.

What is the Wind?

Why is it Important?How hot or cold we feels depends on the strength of the wind. Air moving rapidly past our body causes it to lose heat quickly and this cooling power is known as the wind chill effect. This is important for walkers and climbers, sportsmen and sunbathers. In hot places you can't always feel whether you are getting burnt by the sun. In cold conditions it means that already low temperatures feel even colder speed up the potential for frostbite and hypothermia. And of course the speed and direction of the wind is crucial for sailors, pilots, and farmers planning their day's work. Extremely strong winds are very powerful and can cause much damage.

What is Sunlight?

The length of the day varies with latitude and the Sun will rise and set at different times of the year. In addition the Sun's energy is more intense nearer the equator as its rays are less spread out because of the curvature of the Earth. There may be cloud cover which lessens the amount of light reaching the Earth, and lots of the sunlight is scattered, reflected or absorbed by particles, by clouds and by the different surfaces of the Earth.

Why is it Important?

If we know how much daylight we have at a particular time of year, it helps us to decide on when streetlights need to be lit up or turned off. We know if it will be dark when we come home from school, and maybe too dark for us to play sports in the evening outside. Normal outdoor activities are restricted by the short hours of daylight in countries such as Britain. This also affects farmers who want to grow crops needing lots of warm sunlight.

We also need to know how intense the Sun will be in a particular place so that we can avoid getting burnt. A special sun index summarises this for us.

What is Rain?

Rain is a type of precipitation, as is snow, sleet, hail, dew or fog. Precipitation is where water vapour in the air is cooled and condenses into water droplets giving rise to different forms. We need to know how much rain or snow falls on average in a place and also how likely it is for it to occur.

Why is it Important?

Water is fundamental to all forms of life and farmers depend on the weather providing them with enough rain and other moisture to keep their crops growing and their animals alive. Drought is a huge problem in some parts of the world. But even where it rains on and off all year, we need to know how much and when so that we can make sure we build houses that will not leak, take an umbrella or a coat if we have to go out somewhere, or guess if we will have to cancel the football match.

What is Humidity?

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. It can be measured in various ways, but the most usual is to describe it as 'relative' humidity. This is expressed as a percentage. A relative humidity of 100% means the moisture content of the air is the maximum possible at any particular temperature. The hotter the air, the more moisture it can hold.

Why is it Important?

When relative humidity is low, evaporation is rapid. Soil dries out, wet clothes dry quickly and perspiration evaporates from the skin. When relative humidity is high, clothes dry slowly and body sweat cannot evaporate easily. We feel sticky and hot and because our perspiration cannot evaporate quickly, we feel uncomfortable. We can stand dry heat much better than damp heat which makes us feel listless and takes our energy away.

What is Pressure?

Air or atmospheric pressure, is the force exerted on the Earth, by the weight of the air above. That depends on how high the column of air is, so the higher the surface, the less the pressure. That is why you set your barometer to the height of your house or school above sea-level to get correct readings.

Why is it Important?

Different pressure regimes have different types of weather associated with them.

Barometer readings are plotted on a pressure chart. Points on a map that have the same air pressure are connected by lines known as isobars. By studying the patterns shown by isobars, forecasters can make predictions about how the weather will develop. We can identify "troughs" of low pressure and "ridges" of high pressure.


 General scheme of identification and assessment of correlations between environmental factors and population health includes realization of the following stages:

Stage 1: Purpose, tasks and research programs are defined.

Stage 2: Control area is selected.

Control area is an investigation and control territory that is characterized by identical living conditions and population activity. They differ in directivity, expansion and action intensity of considered etiological environmental factors, and are limited by required quantity of observed contingents.

Stage 3: Hygienic and sanitary situation in control area(s) is evaluated.

Stage 4: Realization technique of epidemiological method of population health study is chosen.

- hygienic and statistical assessment.

- medical examination.

- clinical observation of specially selected people.

- full-scale epidemiological experiment.

Stage 5: Selection of research form.

All indicated above forms of realization of epidemiological method may be performed in the form of so-called transversal and longitudinal researches.

The essence of transversal (or one-stage) research is in the observation of environmental factors influence on population health at present, without the dynamic observation of health.

In other words transversal research allows to define the population health level at the moment of research.

Transversal research may be of two types: prospective and retrospective.

In case of the prospective research two groups of people are compared. The people of the first group are those who are influenced by researched factor, and the other group of people is one of those who are not exposed to such influence. That is research activities are directed from factor to health.

In case of retrospective research two other groups of people are compared: sick and healthy. That is research motion in reverse from health (disease) towards possible factor.

Hence the prospective research is carried out mostly when hazardous factor is predetermined and retrospective research when main acting factor is unknown and it should be ascertained.

Another form of assessment is a longitudinal epidemiological research.

The essence of longitudinal research consists in carrying out of a long dynamic observation of certain contingent of people.

Longitudinal research also may be of two types: parallel and nonparallel.

In case of parallel research the time period of research itself coincides with the period of time when the required information is collected.

And in case of the non-parallel research, the researched time period relates to the past (according to archive materials). Major disadvantage of this kind of research is the fact that required data and factors may not be found in archives.

Stage 6: Determination of minimal sample number.

Stage 7: Population health data collection.

Stage 8: Calculation of health rates and indices.

Stage 9: Assessment of the correlation between environmental factors and population health (mathematical modeling).

Modern methods of determination of the influence of factors, that have the most dramatic influence on population health, have the common methodical basis - theory of probability and mathematical statistics.

Correlation analysis allows determining direction, force, degree and authenticity of environmental factors influence on population health level.

Constraint force is evaluated by linear correlation coefficient (r): at values r = 0.01-0.29 connection is considered to be weak, at values r = 0.30-0.69 connection is average (medium), and at r = 0.70-0.99 connection is strong.

Degree of health level effect of each particular environmental factor is determined according to special scale taking into consideration determination index. Determination index shows in percent specific contribution of health effect of a given factor among other factors, result value of which makes up 100%.


Assessment scale of environmental factor influence:


Determination index, %

Degree of factor influence

< 1

Very weak

1 4


5 9


10 14


15 and  >

Very strong


Regression analysis allows to create a regression equation, which may be used as a model that describes behavior of health level when the intensity of influence of factors, included in it, changes. As a rule, regression analysis is carried out simultaneously with correlation analysis. In this case it is called correlation-and-regression analysis.

Factor analysis allows classifying environmental factors into homogeneous groups automatically.

Dispersion analysis determines reliability and degree of environmental factors influence on health level.

Discriminant analysis allows determining of reliability of distinctions among some groups of population simultaneously based on comprehensive health indicators.

Cluster analysis is a kind of a multifactor analysis, which allows to scientifically prove the grouping of population contingents under examination according to their health.

Stage 10: Development and introduction of preventive recommendations, their efficiency assessment.

Algorithms of Sanitation of the working, living conditions and environmental factors and Identification and evaluation of correlations between the environmental factors and population health are given schematically (see appendices 4 and 5).



1 stage: Development and substantiation of hygienic standards



Research method selection











 stage: Adherence to hygienic regulations control




Preventive national sanitary inspection

Regular national sanitary inspection




Environmental observation

Laboratory analyses








Sampling of air, water, soil, food substances

Measurement of chemical pollution levels

Measurement of  noise, vibration, dust, radiation levels and microclimate parameters

Data registration

Analysis of air, water, soil, food substances samples

Generalization of results

Drawing of sanitary conclusion

 stage: Measures for correction of environmental factors influence on organism









Introduction of wasteless technology

Automation and mechanization of production processes

Use of sanitary appliances and scheduled measures

Measures for noise and vibration reduction

Rational job placement

Therapeutic and preventive measures

Correction of hygienic regulations



















Definition of purpose, tasks and research program



Selection of control area(s)



Evaluation of hygienic and sanitary situation in control area(s)



Selection of realization technique of epidemiological method of population health study






Hygiene and statistical investigation

Medical examination

Clinical observation

Full-scale epidemiological experiment






Selection of examination forms

















Determination of minimal sample number



Population health data collection



Calculation of health rates and indices



Assessment of correlation between environmental factors and population health (mathematical modeling)



Development and introduction of preventive recommendations, their efficiency assessment












Good health state and high level of work capacity of the human depend on synchronization of the organism vital activity, i.e. the central nervous system ability to provide interaction of different periodic functions of the organism and coincidence of both the organism and environment rhythmics.

It was established, that heart rate and respiratory rate of healthy person have the 4/1 relation. Any changes of this relation are the evidence of the certain connection disturbance in the organism and allow to draw a conclusion that some organism functions are out of order, and certain unfavourable changes in the health state are taking place.


Biorhythms are defined as periodic changes of the physiological and psychological processes intensity during time period. Biorhythms are typical for all living organisms on the Earth and are precondition to provide the normal vital activity of them according to the main nature rhythms, resulted from Earth revolution around the sun and stars and leading to change of seasons, day and night, influence of Moon phases, high and low tide etc.

Disorders and changes of biological rhythms significantly influence psychological and physiological functions, psychological and emotional state of the human and are the result of social conditions of life and urbanization factors (work on different shifts in industry, long-distance travel and flights etc.). These disorders may be the cause of significant psychological and emotional loading, neurosis and even marked disturbances of criteria indices of the mental health.

There are different classifications of biological rhythms. They are based on the frequency characteristics, organization level of biological systems and peculiarities of interaction between the organism and environment.

Periodic processes are observed at the different organization level of living systems and cover the highest frequency band. The most complete classification of biological rhythms by their frequency characteristics was proposed by N.I. Moiseeva and V.M. Sysuev (1981). Five main classes of biological rhythms may be defined according to this classification:

Class 1 high frequency rhythms (period from milliseconds to 30 minutes; oscillation on molecular level, heart and respiratory rate, intestinal peristalsis etc.);

Class 2 middle frequency rhythms (from 30 minutes to 28 hours), including

ultradian (to 20 hours) and circadian (from 20 to 28 hours) rhythms;

Class 3  mesorhythms (from 28 hours to 20 days), including infradian (from 28 hours to 6ays) and circaceptidal (near days);

Class 4 macrorhytms (from 20 days to 1year);

Class 5 megarhythms (from 1 year to decades).

Another very important criterion of biorhytms classification is by organization level of biosystems. According to this criterion, such biorhythms as cellular, organ, organism and population are defined.

By peculiarities of interaction between the organism and environment one defines adaptive biological rhythms, i.e. oscillation with periods similar to main geophysical cycles, they are synchronizers of external and internal rhythms and physiological ones, which reflect the state of the organism physiological systems.


Desynchronosis and methods of their prevention. Chronohygiene


Based on scientific research, it was established, that a lot of pathological states are resulted from the biological rhythms disturbance. Such states are named desynchronosis. They may appear during studying, training, other types of human activity, including development of different diseases.


An example of the desynchronosis is arrhythmic pulse among people suffering from cardio-vascular diseases, changes of respiratory rate among people suffering from pneumonia, bronchial asthma, changes of intestinal peristalsis among people suffering from gastro-intestinal diseases etc.

Vascular resistance during essential hypertension is higher at nighttime, than at daytime. Intracellular enzyme activity of patient suffering from angina pectoris is lower at nighttime than at daytime. Patients suffering from myocardial infarction have disturbances of the electrolytic metabolism daily rhythms: increased sodium and decreased potassium concentration in red blood cells at nighttime; lipid exchange rhythm is also disordered; the contractile myocardial function is depressed especially in the evening.

Patients with hepatocirrhosis have the following desynchronosis: essentially depressed amplitude of the daily rhythm of the steroid hormones excretion comparing to healthy one, significant disturbances of the bioenergetic process rhythms are also registered etc.

Marked desynchronosis are registered among patients suffering from endocrine diseases: daily changes of glucose concentration in blood (diabetes mellitus), 17-oxycorticosteroids, catecholamines and electrolytes excretion (pancreatitis), other significant disorders of metabolism rhythm (diseases of hypothalamohypophysial and diencephalic systems).

Patients suffering from manic-depressive psychosis have the acute attack of manic phase as desynchronosis of the calm-activity biorhythm cycle. Rhythms disorders of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis are registered during stress situations resulted from influence of extremal environment factors.

Branch of medical science chronomedicine (and corresponding branches chronotherapy, chronopharmacology, chronohygiene) was formed based on the research of desynchronosis and causes of their appearance. At the heart of this discipline is elaboration of optimal timing schemes of therapeutic, pharmacodynamic and preventive means and methods. The most effective regime of occupational activity, time and optimal duration of rest, sleep periods and time for eating were worked out for people working in different shifts. Also the rest duration and regime after flight were elaborated for pilots who cross several time zones. Special programs were worked out for occupational selection of people, the most capable for flight on different shifts and leaving out people unable for such type of work, taking into account their biorhythmic peculiarities.

It has been underlined that all people have different daily regimes of work capacity. Some of them - so called larks, work with high energy before noon; some - so called owls after noon. L. Tolstoy, A. Chekhov, E. Hemingway preferred to work early in the morning. Owls went to bed late, woke up in the morning with some difficulties, had the highest work capacity in the evening or even at night. H. de Balsac and D. Mendeleev preferred to work at night.

Each human should know his personal rhythm of work capacity. If you determine your period of the highest work capacity, you may use this time for the most complicated and important tasks, while periods of the work capacity decreasing may be used for less important work.

Individual peculiarities of each persons biorhythms have to be taken into account during organization of occupational activity and rest. The organization of the labour regime on second and third shifts in industry has to be coordinated with the individual biorhythm peculiarities in such way, that intensive load takes place during natural periods of increased work capacity. Special attention has to be given to professions, which are characterized with high responsibility or high monotony.

It is important for each person to develop individual rhythm of activity during a shift, increasing pace of work during periods of the high work capacity and taking short rest if fatigue appears.

Day sleep has been organized for the desynchronosis prevention and the work capacity increasing. It is recommended to organize the day rest in such way, that this rest corresponds to night sleep by its conditions. Silence, absence of external irritants, darkening etc. allow person to recuperate quicker and adapt to temporary changes of vital rhythm. Day sleep in conditions, which imitate the night, helps the organism to adapt quickly to unusual regimes. Another condition, which provides high work capacity during night time, is organization of obligatory hot nutrition. This type of nutrition compensates energy expenditure of the organism, and also is an effective timer. Longer working at night shift is better for the organism. Shorter night work periods are not very good due to the fact that the organism has not enough time for the work and rest changes adaptation.

Desynchronosis are observed among astronauts during their stay on the near-earth orbit. Unusual labour conditions in Space require maximum energy, attention and force in any time. It is very difficult, taking into account the fact, that astronauts meet the sunrise in Space up to 20 times per 24 hours. System of measures is directed to keep usual earth 24-hour rhythms for the desynchronosis prevention. Special films, radio- and TV-programs of connection with the Earth and other measures are used. These measures allow the astronauts to keep high work capacity during the flight.

Significant reorganization of biorhythms is necessary during flights across 4-5 time zones. According to the data of French researchers, 78% of the air personnel people flying on long distances have the desynchronosis disturbances. The company British Airways worked out the standard for its pilots: the pilot can cross not more than 40 time zones in any direction during 28 days.

There are some rules, which ease the human adaptation to the time zone changes. If the time zone change is for limited period of time, it is advisable to keep the work and rest regime similar to usual. If work at new place needs maximum load, it is necessary to change the work and rest regime gradually and in advance, adapting to new time zone.

Having some knowledge on biological rhythms, doctor and patient, taking into account the physicians recommendations, may plan treatment and preventive measures which prevent the desynchronosis development.


The biological rhythms consist in the self-maintaining independent processes of the organism states periodical shifts and the vibration of the individuals physiological reactions intensity.

A man has a complex hierarchy and strict time order in the establishment of his personal biorhythmic structure resulting from the internal and external synchronizers action. Moreover, the entire organism can exist only under proper phase interrelations of different fluctuation processes in cells, tissues, organs and functional systems on one hand; on the other hand their absolute synchronization with the environment. So, health status is a status of the optimal harmony between time structure of the internal organism medium and the influence of the environmental factors; the biological rhythms display the shifts of various indices of physiological processes of wave-shaped form.


Various rhythmical vibrations of definite states of the living systems are registered with a frequency from once per millisecond to once per several years. The most significant for a human are ultradian (the period length is 0.5-20 hours), circadian (20-28 hours), infradian (28-60 hours) and circaceptidal (60-148 hours) biological rhythms.




The main characteristics of the biological rhythms are: level, period, amplitude, acrophase and a form of rhythm day curve (fig. 52.1).


Fig. 52.1 Graphic image of a typical biological rhythm and its main characteristics

(Amp rhythm amplitude, Acr rhythm acrophase, T rhythm time)


The rhythm level or mezor consists in average quantity of the examined physiological function during one biological cycle; the graphic image of it is close to the sinusoid. The rhythm period is a period of time after the end of which the organism status is repeated and the rhythm frequency is a quantity inversed to the period duration. The rhythm amplitude is calculated as odds between maximal and minimal indices of definite physiological process during one biological cycle. The rhythm acrophase is a time of the maximal function level. By the way, if the function rhythm acrophase shifts within a definite zone, this phenomenon is called a zone of acrophase wandering.

Each biological rhythm is characterized by the day curve form, i.e. by the graphic image of the dynamic shifts of the examined function during the light day. The normal physiological functionsinclude the paraboloidal curves with the maximal acrophase in the morning and on the day with a gradual decrease of the rhythm in the evening and at night. The shifted physiological curves includeplateau curves (little function variation level during the day), inertial (maximal increase of the rhythm level in the evening), two-vertex or biheminal (two rises of activity are present, as usually, in the morning an in the evening) and inverted (the decrease of a basic function level during the day time) ones.

The circadian characteristics of body temperature and heart rate rhythms are used as the criterial indices of the peoples biorhythmological health status. The temperature is measured in the armpit by means of medical or electric thermometer; the heart rate is palpated traditionally on the forearm during 1 minute. It should be emphasized that the study of the body circadian systems status indices has to be carried out in the middle of a week during 2-3 days with a 4-hour interval, i.e. at 8 a.m., at noon, at 4 and 8 p.m.




Based on the analysis of the physiological indices we determine the amplitude, level and acrophase of the examined functions biological rhythms. To determine the influence of the environment on the pupils biological rhythms we study a form of the day chronogramme-curve segment and based on the obtained data, perform a point (quantification) assessment of the results. The aim of the latter is to determine the type of the physiological curves: paraboloidal with the acrophase at noon or at 4 p.m., plateau, inertial, two-vertex and inverted ones (fig. 52.2).

Fig. 51.2 Types of day curves according to the point quantification

(1 inverted curves; 2 - plateau curves; 3 - paraboloidal curves with the acrophase at 8 p.m.; 4 - two-vertex curves; 5 - paraboloidal curves with the acrophase at noon or at 4 p.m.)


It should be noted, that the remarkable feature of the plateau curves is the examined functions amplitude shift towards the quantity less than criterial, which for the body temperature is 0.5C and for heart rate is 8 beats per minute. The inertial curves are characterized by the biggest vibration amplitude in the evening, while the two-vertex or biheminal curves by the presence of two activity rises at noon and in the evening, the inverted ones by the decrease of basic level during day hours.

During the quantification, the highest score (5 points) is obtained by the plateau curves with the maximal acrophase at noon or at 4 p.m.; 4 points belong to the two-vertex curves, 3 points to the paraboloidal curves with the maximal acrophase at 8 p.m., 2 points to the paraboloidal curves and 1 point to the inverted ones. The last three determinants indicate respectively the desynchronizing influence of the operating factor, the early signs of the circadian rhythm damage during the adaptive process and the desynchronosis.

The desynchronosis represents a special type of chronopathology which is an accompaniment and a precursor of different body disturbances manifestations, even many diseases. However, the most spread causes of desynchronosis are: the time zone shifts due to prolonged flights and journeys, the phase disagreement with the local sensors of the rhythm time sleep awake, the exception of the geographic time synchronizers, the influence of harmful agents and stressful factors (the pathogenic microorganisms, pain and physical irritants, psychic and muscular load, significant disorders of the day-and-night activity regime etc.).

The main biorhythmological principles of the routine mans activity rational organization include:

-          the ensuring of labour (studies) activity time combination with the time of physiological body functions optimum,

-          the use of movement activity as a synchronizer of biological rhythms,

-          introduction of methods and measures of the spare time rational organization, as an important factor of the biological rhythms amplitude-phase programme realization.




on determination of the human calculation biological rhythms


The father of idea concerning the necessity of consideration and determination of the calculation biological rhythms was Swiss businessman G. Thommen. He was the person to set up a critical day of a person, which repeated with certain periodicity.

The hypothesis, that starting with the birth, the human body experiences, regardless one from another, three different by their contents cycles of functional body state shifts: the physical cyclelasting 23 days, the emotional cycle lasting 28 days and the intellectual one  33 days.

They say, that the first period of all three cycles is more beneficial and the second one is less. For instance, a person during the physical phase first period is more likely to be engaged in physical training and sports or any other activity demanding intensive physical efforts; the emotional cycle first period is characterized by the exultant mood and optimism, the first period of the intellectual phase by the excellent background for the mental activity. Instead, the second period is characterized by the phenomena of opposite character and contents.

But the most unfavourable, even critical, are the days, when the curves of each cycle, which present also sinusoids, cross the ground elevation; this happens on 11.5, 14 and 16.5 days. The most critical are so-called double or threefold critical days, when the ground elevation is at the same time crossed by two or thee sinusoids. By the way, these days have been named as black holes. So, having information about so-called calculation biorhythms, according to supporters of this theory, we can rather accurately and exactly forecast the most unfavourable moments for future in every persons life. To be honest, there is still no comprehensive scientific basis to this theory, but according to some observations, the frequency of various accidents and emergency situations is the most significant exactly on the days called black holes.

To assess the calculation biological rhythm, first we should calculate the amount of the spent days, naturally taking into account the duration of both ordinary and leap-years. Then we divide the obtained number of days in the period quantity of each calculation rhythm. The whole number obtained as a result of division characterizes the amount of total cycles by the definite calculation rhythm which have been already spent; the remainder allows determining the exact day of each of the rhythms. Marking it on the proper curve-sinusoid we can obtain the profound information concerning the main characteristics of the calculation biological rhythms.


Task 1


Students self-training assignment in the lesson

Determination of day work capacity type by O. Ostberg method modified by S. Stepanova

Write down to the protocol the name of this task.

Than draw a table by given example:


 of  question

Letter of chosen variant of answer

Corresponding point





Read attentively the questions of personal questionnaire (appendix 3) and follow established sequence. During work with questionnaire, you choose the variant of answer, write it into the table ( of question and variants of answers (a, b, c)) and calculate corresponding points.

Calculate the sum of all points and substantiate a conclusion concerning the day work capacity type according to the abovementioned scale.

Note. Variant of answer is determined depending on the season of research: in summer (warm season) or in winter (cold season).


Task 2

Students self-training assignment for the lesson

Determination of human biological rhythms by calculation method


Determine your own calculation biological (physical, emotional, intellectual) rhythms. Based on the received results draw sinusoids of these rhythms and determine their critical days and so called double and threefold critical days or black holes.

Method of calculation

For example, the person was born 24 of January 1983. Her age in days on 24.01.2004 is:

I.                   Calculation of spent days:

16 ordinary years × 365 days = 5 840 days

5 leap years × 365 days = 1 830 days

+ days of current January = 24 days

                                      Total = 7 694

II.                Calculation of spent cycles:

Number of physical cycles: 7 694 : 23 = 334.52 cycles

Number of emotional cycles: 7 694 : 28 = 274.78 cycles

Number of intellectual cycles: 7 694 : 33 = 233.15 cycles

III.             Calculation of days of current cycles:

Physical cycle:

1 cycle  23 days

x = : = 11.96 days

0.52 cycle  x days


Emotional cycle:

1 cycle  28 days

y = : = 21.28 days

0.76 cycle  y days


Intellectual cycle:

1 cycle  33 days

z = : = 4.95 days

0.15 cycle  z days

IV.            Mark the days of current cycles on graph of calculation biorhythms.

V.               Conclusion:

Unfavourable days for:

-          emotional cycle: 5.01, 17.01, 30.01;

-          physical cycle: 12.01, 23.01;

-          intellectual cycle: 20.01.