From the times of our first primate ancestors, innovation has progressed at a rapid clip. While the development of tools, plumbing systems and food preservation have enabled modern man to live life with many creature comforts, the truth remains that the requirements for human survival are quite basic. The are eight minimal physiological requirements for survival. These are: air, water, food, shelter, sanitation, sleep, space, and touch.
- Air: Consisting of oxygen within a particular range of pressure, concentration, and purity is vital to survival.
- Water: Access to a safe, clean and adequate water supply is necessary for human survival.
- Food: Our food must be adequate in calorie and nutritional standards in order to sustain life.
- Shelter: Since exposure to cold and heat can lead to hypothermia or hyperthermia, shelter which offers protection from extremes of heat, cold, intense sun, and prolonged precipitation is a human survival need.
- Sanitation: Proper means for the removal of human waste helps protect from deadly toxins and pathogens and is critical in promoting human survival.
- Sleep: Seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night is optimal for human survival (Figure 1).
- Space: As humans, we require personal space. In addition to the requirement for shelter, or suitable indoor living space, humans need outdoor space, to avoid overcrowding and chaos.
- Touch: As humans have evolved to interact in community settings, both hunting and gathering in groups, touch—as in a caress—is often considered a basic human survival need. In fact, empirical evidence has shown that touch is essential for the early growth and development of healthy humans.