The first basic need in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is physiological needs, which appears at the base of the pyramid. It begins the need priorities for an individual to achieve greater physical and psychological health. Aspects of physiologic needs include biologic requirements for human survival, including air, food, drink, and sleep.
Oxygen is the most fundamental need. Oxygen is required by all cells in the human body to survive. Oxygenation of cells is carried out by the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Any alteration in the function of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems results in an increased demand for oxygen.
Adequate calories and proper fluid balance are required to sustain life. Inadequate nutrient consumption and fluid intake can result in nutrient, electrolyte imbalances and dehydration that can lead to many health problems and death.
Elimination allows for the removal of waste products. Waste is removed from the body through skin, lungs, kidneys, and intestines. Ineffective waste removal can lead to toxin buildup, and health problems.
Regulating temperature is one of the efforts made by the body to maintain homeostasis. The body attempts to sustain body temperature at 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C). Shivering and sweating are mechanisms that help control this temperature.
Rest is another essential physiological need because it allows time for the body to rejuvenate. Factors that can affect sleep include a person's age, environment, stress, and drug use.
Having adequate shelter is an essential basic need as it ensures that the body can maintain physiological health. It is important to note that some sources may also include shelter as a “safety and security need” as well.
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