The Definition of Health
The World Health Organization’s constitution, which entered into force on April 7, 1948, defines health as “a state of complete physical and mental well-being.” While this definition includes the absence of disease, it also emphasizes the social and personal resources we use every day to live. It focuses on physical capacities and the ability to maintain homeostasis. Mental health refers to a person’s capacity to handle stress and maintain healthy relationships.
A person’s definition of health may be based on their environment. A person living in the tropics may be susceptible to heart attacks if shovelling requires a lot of effort, whereas a person living at sea level might experience shortness of breath and anemia in the mountains. Because of this, it is crucial that any definition of health be flexible enough to reflect the changing environment. However, the concept of good health is often overly simplistic, ignoring the social and psychological factors that affect our lives.
A person’s definition of health is also important. Some define health as the absence of disease. That definition is more limited than the more comprehensive biopsychosocial definition. The medical model considers health as a single entity, a physical and psychological state. This approach combines social and psychological aspects to define health. The WorldHealth Organisation states that “health is a state of complete well-being.” This declaration is ambitious, but may be more accurate than it might seem.
The World Health Organisation defines health as complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Promoting health involves increasing the amount of control we have over our own health, reducing unhealthy practices, and encouraging healthy behaviors. The WHO reports that the most common causes of disease are genetics and environmental factors, and social and economic status. The WHO report further highlights that ‘health promotion’ is the process of making our environment healthier for us. Once we understand the importance of these factors, we can work toward achieving them.
The definition of health may be different. In the simplest sense, it refers to the absence of disease. In this case, the promotion of health would be aimed at removing all diseases and reducing the number of people suffering from them. But the word “health” is not synonymous with disease. It means that it is a person’s capacity to cope with a particular situation is healthy. For instance, exercise can improve a person’s mental state.
The concept of health can be defined in quantitative terms. For example, a healthy person is physically fit. An unhealthy person is ill. Similarly, a healthy person will be able to perform activities that are beneficial to their health. This means that the person’s mental state is in good health. This will be the case when the body’s internal organs are functioning properly. The world health organization defines health as a state of complete physical and social well-being.