Lifestyle is the way an individual chooses to live his or her life. It is a mixture of intangible and tangible factors, such as interests, behavior, patterns of work, attitudes, health, etc.
While there are many different definitions, lifestyle is often used as a shorthand for consumerism, or as a synonym for style of life. The term also comes in varying forms and can refer to anything from the environment to health to politics.
In the US, the concept of lifestyle was formally introduced in 1929 by Alfred Adler. He defined it as a style of personality, a system of judgment, and a means of striving toward a life goal.
According to Adler, a lifestyle is a basic character established early in life. It involves security in relationships, a sense of superiority, and a belief in the value of the individual.
Some researchers define a lifestyle as the sum of its health-related, behavioral, and social elements. Others suggest it is a complex combination of intangible, demographic, and mental aspects, ranging from hobbies and interests to attitudes and beliefs.
For example, an individual’s lifestyle may involve views about health, religion, and intimacy. It might be based on income, location, and social class. On a global scale, an individual’s lifestyle is also influenced by the nation they live in, the country in which they purchase goods, and the consumer class of that country.
Using the concept of lifestyle as a basis for understanding consumer behavior was one of the major innovations of the modern era. It allowed marketers to take quantitative insights from Max Weber and apply them to their marketing techniques.