Defining Health


Defining health is a challenging task. The word itself is ambiguous, spanning both the physical and mental aspects of wellbeing. Some of the factors that contribute to health are purely biological while others are influenced by social and economic factors. The objective of defining health is to ensure that individuals have the means to live healthy lives.

In order to be able to achieve this goal, governments must provide for the determinants of health. This includes providing for safe water, sanitation, and ensuring that people have access to quality health care. It also means that they have to make sure that they provide for unbiased, accurate, and timely information. In order to do this, they need to develop an infrastructure that allows for health services to be offered in a timely manner, at an affordable cost, and in a manner that is culturally appropriate.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. This definition is based on a biopsychosocial model of health that includes physiological, psychological, and social factors. It was developed after World War II and was meant to highlight the importance of public health.

In contrast, the traditional medical model of health emphasizes clinical diagnosis and treatment. This emphasis is tempered by the fact that there are factors beyond disease that contribute to health. These include genetics, the environment, and lifestyle choices. Some people may inherit genes that increase their risk of certain health conditions. Others may have a fragile genetic makeup that makes them more susceptible to illness. The physical and mental aspects of wellbeing are closely linked. Similarly, some people may have an unhealthy lifestyle, which affects their daily routine.

Defining health is an important task, but it is also a challenging one. Many different definitions of health have been proposed in the past. Some of these include physical health, mental health, and financial health. The best definition is one that will allow for change. There is no exact definition of health, as each person has a unique set of factors that contribute to health.

Aside from the subjective aspects, there are a number of quantitative aspects to defining health. These include the likelihood of a person suffering from an imminent disease, and the likelihood that a person will be able to cope with a physical or psychological hardship. The World Health Organisation has a list of reference values to help determine these measurements.

There are a number of global health issues. Some of these issues include re-emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, parasitic infections such as hookworm, and the global burden of disease. Others include the organization and functions of health systems, and measurement of health status. There are also demographic and epidemiologic transitions, as well as issues related to sexually transmitted infections in young women.

It is important to understand that the ‘complete health’ definition is not realistic, as few people will have complete wellbeing at all times. The World Health Organisation declaration could also be considered too narrow, as it does not account for a number of factors that contribute to health inequalities.