Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition in which the body “suffers no harm from outside environmental agents” and is free from several causes of illness. Various definitions have been used over time for various purposes. In this article, we will explore some important health terms.
The word disease has various meanings. The definition that we have used here is the physical manifestation of a medical condition. The definition may also mean suffering or the effects of physical conditions on the human health. The physical aspect of disease is considered an important component of human health because disease physically affects the body.
The absence of a disease does not necessarily imply good health. The absence of physical ill-health is not equivalent to good health, though it may be possible to maintain good physical well-being despite absence of disease. Good health is an outcome of a person’s ability to cope with his environment and the quality of his relationships. Good health, then, implies the absence of mental, emotional, and physical disorders. It is not synonymous to absence of disease.
A healthy individual can exist in a society with very low level of physical illness if he can adjust to the social, cultural, and historical variables, but this individual will always run the risk of being exposed to the risk factors that cause his illnesses. Some common factors that cause disease include: poverty; poor nutrition; lack of clean water and sanitation; unclean environment; unclean hands; exposure to different infectious diseases; and exposure to radiation and tobacco smoke. These risk factors increase the odds of getting the disease. It also increases the costs associated with illness. The third definition of health is the absence of diseases caused by these risk factors.
If an individual health is maintained through exercise and eating well, he has good long-term physical well-being. It means that the person can keep his body free from diseases if he is able to prevent or delay them. Healthy diet and exercise can help maintain the body in a state of health. However, these measures alone are insufficient as they cannot reduce the occurrence or intensity of chronic diseases.
A healthy lifestyle can reduce the prevalence of such illnesses as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, but they cannot eliminate them completely. If an individual can manage to maintain a good diet and live in a hygienic environment, he will be in a better position to manage his illness. In this scenario, maintaining good health is not equivalent to good health but to healthy life. A healthy public health is equivalent to a healthy mind.