Physical Development and Health in Early Adulthood

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  • 0:58 Health & Wellness
  • 2:11 Stress
  • 4:14 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Despite the fact that most people are fully grown by early adulthood, it is still a time of physical development. In this lesson, we'll explore the physical and health issues that people in early adulthood experience.

Early Adulthood

Phil is approaching his 30th birthday, and he's both excited and a little sad. Somehow, thirty seems a lot older than twenty-nine. He feels like he should be a real grown-up now, but there's so much left that he needs to do!

Phil is in early adulthood, which is generally defined as the time between adolescence and middle age. Roughly, this means between ages twenty and forty. Some psychologists define it slightly differently, like between ages twenty-five and forty-five or between ages seventeen and thirty-five. But in general, early adulthood is the time between adolescence and middle age.

There are many different physical things that distinguish people in early adulthood from other points in their lives. Let's take a closer look at the health and wellness properties of early adulthood as well as the impact of stress on health.

Health & Wellness

Despite all the nervousness about entering his thirties, Phil is doing well physically. He ran a half-marathon last year, and he looks and feels better than he did when he was in college. Mostly, this is due to drinking less and working out more.

Early adulthood is the point in life when the body is at its healthiest point. Like Phil, most people in early adulthood are at their most physically capable. The body is fully developed by the early to mid-20s, and this allows adults to function better than they did earlier in life when they weren't fully developed. On the other hand, most adults have not yet begun to have the health issues that older adults go through as the body begins to age.

Health habits at this age are very important. These are things like exercising, not smoking, and eating well, and they influence health in later years. Studies show that people who engage in health habits in early adulthood are healthier in middle age and beyond. This is good news for Phil. In addition to his half-marathon training and the cutting back of drinking, he does not smoke and eats a healthy, well-balanced diet.


There is one hiccup in Phil's health and wellness, though. He has a lot of stress. His boss is really demanding, and he recently got a promotion that means longer hours and more responsibility at work. Not only that, he and his girlfriend just got engaged and are now trying to plan a wedding. All in all, he's very stressed!

Stress is a major problem facing early adults. Usually, a person enters the workforce for the first time in early adulthood. In addition, many people get married and have children during this time in their lives. They might be buying their first houses, getting promotions, or paying off student loans. All of these can add stress to their lives.

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