Lifestyle is the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture. The term was originally used by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937). The term was introduced in the 1950s as a derivative of that of style in modernist art.
The term refers to a combination of determining intangible or tangible factors. Tangible factors relate specifically to demographic variables, i.e. an individuals demographic profile, whereas intangible factors concern the psychological aspects of an individual such as personal values, preferences, and outlooks.
A rural environment has different lifestyles compared to an urban metropolis. Location is important even within an urban scope. A particular neighborhood affects lifestyle due to varying degrees of affluence and proximity to open spaces. For example, in areas within a close proximity to the sea, a surf culture or lifestyle is often present. The concept of Lifestyle Management has developed as a result of the growing focus on lifestyle.
A lifestyle typically reflects an individual's attitudes, values or world view. Therefore, a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self and to create cultural symbols that resonate with personal identity. Not all aspects of a lifestyle are voluntary. Surrounding social and technical systems can constrain the lifestyle choices available to the individual and the symbols she/he is able to project to others and the self.
The lines between personal identity and the everyday doings that signal a particular lifestyle become blurred in modern society. For example, "green lifestyle" means holding beliefs and engaging in activities that consume fewer resources and produce less harmful waste (i.e. a smaller ecological footprint), and deriving a sense of self from holding these beliefs and engaging in these activities.
Some commentator argue that, in modernity, the cornerstone of lifestyle construction is consumption behavior, which offers the possibility to create and further individualize the self with different products or services that signal different ways of life.
Lifestyle may include views on politics, religion, health, intimacy, and more. All of these aspects play a role in shaping someone's lifestyle. In the magazine and television industries, "lifestyle" is used to describe a category of publications or programs.