What Is Health?
Health is an overall condition of mental, physical and social well being where infirmity and disease are absent. A number of definitions have also been used over the years for medical purposes. One school of thought defines health as the state of being fit, happy and socially capable. It has also been said that a person’s health is determined by the quality of relationships he/she enjoys. In order to achieve well being, it is important to build healthy relationships.
The field of heath has many dimensions and the definition of wellness has to be flexible to better understand how people live and interact in today’s society. It is also important to remember that there is no single definition defining health. The definition of wellness has to be a dynamic one as it evolves over time. The various approaches to understanding health have different views about what constitutes health.
The commonly used definition is from the perspective of preventive medicine. This is where prevention is seen as the means of controlling or avoiding diseases rather than treating diseases once they have started. From this perspective, all efforts aimed at preventing diseases are viewed as health interventions. This is where public health is seen as the central objective of any health policy.
From the perspective of preventing illnesses, we can see that this is a complex process. Preventive measures focus on reducing the likelihood of an illness starting and they include interventions such as vaccination and the promotion of healthy practices in daily life. Public health is aimed at reducing the risks of new diseases by educating the general population about the illness and its preventive measures. This is done through educational programs like mass media campaigns. Prevention is not just about following a good diet and exercise regime; it also includes reducing exposure to environmental risks including exposure to second hand smoke.
Another definition is the absence of disease. From this perspective, a disease is something that is not being maintained and is continuously spreading. A definition of absence states that absence of disease is the absence of any evidence of current or potential biological, physiological or mental illness for a specific period. This is an assumption and while biological information is required for the study of the etiology of various diseases, the presence of absence of disease does not prove absence but just a lack of any evidence of illness.
There are many other definitions of HEALTH, which are equally important for a clear discussion. Some other definitions include comprehensive, preventive, medical, population, functional, economic and quality of life. These are general and used to represent the broad range of approaches to health issues. For instance, the definition of comprehensive HEAL encompasses all approaches which include prevention, assessment, research and management. This definition emphasizes the importance of good health at all levels by including good nutrition, regular exercise, vaccines and other medical services.