Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an overall level of well-being that includes physical health, mind and body, the capacity for adaptation, personal identity and value, and knowledge, values, and power.” A variety of other definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. For some people it means being healthy and fit. Being healthy and fit means being physically and emotionally fit. It could also mean being mentally and emotionally stable. The concept of health has different meanings for different cultures and may even mean different things to different people.
The need for a good definition of health and its benefits for society cannot be understated in this day and age. As the aging process begins, there are many more older people entering the hospital and nursing homes than there are physicians to staff them. Many people do not realize how important good health is until they are ill or injured. In many cases, the consequences of ill-health or injury can be worse than the disease or injury itself. The lack of health protection is costing American taxpayers billions of dollars every year.
A better understanding of the human health condition can help to create a better society by encouraging healthier behaviors and habits and ensuring that everyone has access to quality healthcare. The idea of wellness implies that there are seven dimensions of health: Physical, mental, emotional, social, learning and growth, and recreational activities. Although there are many factors that contribute to a person’s well-being, these seven dimensions are at the heart of a person’s overall well-being. Health educators are educators, and they teach people about the basics of wellness and the basics of staying healthy on a daily basis.
An effective wellness curriculum helps students understand the relationship between determinants of health and their roles in the determination of successful adaptation to a disease, environment, and culture. A physical education curriculum addresses the basics of good health, through teaching about nutrition and basic health sciences. In the realm of mental health, it introduces the basics of stress management and teaches students to identify their personal strengths and weaknesses. Learning in this area encourages individuals to think positively, reducing the probability that they will develop illnesses or other problems that could disrupt their lifestyles. In the realm of emotional well-being, an emotional education curriculum is designed to improve the behaviors that foster happiness and positive change and to increase the awareness of emotional needs and the resources available to meet those needs.
Another way to cultivate a healthy lifestyle is through the promotion of healthy behaviors and attitudes toward personal well-being. An environment that promotes good health is one in which people feel safe and protected and have a positive interpersonal relationship with all aspects of their lives. This may include their relationships with their physical environments, such as physical spaces that promote good health. People are also encouraged to develop healthy relationships with their social environment, including work colleagues and friends, their spiritual leaders, their families and peers, and their peers and families.
An environment that promotes health care can be difficult to identify and to design. Because of this, it is important to incorporate the strategies of health promotion snapshots throughout the entire health care process. By engaging the entire health care team in the implementation of the strategy, the professionals gain a sense of ownership over the strategies that shape their work. The health system can then be effectively and efficiently managed, and outcomes can be more effectively met. In turn, the health system benefits from a strong and well-resourced work force that is committed to achieving its goals and missions.