Determinants of Well-Being
We all want to be healthy and live long. Most people want to keep fit and remain in good health. Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a condition of total physical, mental and emotional well-being and not just the absence of illness and disease.” A number of definitions have also been applied to health throughout the years. In general, health is defined as the ability to enjoy life without limitation and is the state that gives us the best chance to live life to the fullest.
Health is affected by public health, community health, and personalized health. Public health refers to services provided by the government for the general welfare of the population. Community health on the other hand refers to the well being of the entire community through the neighborhood or town. Personalized health involves characteristics of a person that are influenced by the social environment. Public health aims at providing quality health care while community health helps to create a sense of social responsibility within the community. The three key dimensions of personal and community health are: the social determinants, the personal factors and the determinants applicable to the whole community.
The increasing trend of medical tourism has led to a focus on health care services and a search for better alternative health care solutions. Research and studies have shown that improved access to effective health care services is correlated with an increased level of well-being, less medical cost and lower mortality rate. Improved access to medical care can lead to improved nutrition, more active lifestyle and improved social determinants of health.
A good health is also associated with a good economy. Healthy people have higher purchasing power and they have an advantage when it comes to getting financial support for health-related activities like education, research, treatment, research and treatment. Furthermore, healthy people have a sense of self worth and they become more assertive when it comes to seeking better health. In other words, healthy people are financially stronger and have higher confidence and motivation in getting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Poor health status leads to poverty and in worst cases to death. The poorer health status life expectancy means that a person will live only a few years at most and may even die earlier. These implications are usually not included in economic development reports that are produced by most developing countries. Studies have also shown that people who live in poor health are less happy with their lives than those who lead a healthy life and are more productive.
Studies also show that well-being has a profound impact on health and disease prevention and control. When an individual has a good self-image and high self-esteem, he is less likely to engage in risky behaviors like substance abuse, suicide attempts and criminal behaviors. A poor self-image is associated with lesser consumption of healthcare services, lower educational levels and greater rates of poverty. A healthy life style is linked to improved healthcare utilization, lower caloric intake, higher social support from family and friends and increased life expectancy. The determinants of well-being, whether it be psychological or medical care, are evident in most countries.