Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. It is a resource to enable people to fulfill their social responsibilities and achieve their full potential.
The term health was first used by the World Health Organization in 1948 as a way to promote global action to improve the quality of life for people throughout the world. At that time, life expectancy was low and infectious diseases, such as polio and diphtheria, were rampant.
In this context, the WHO defined health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” This definition was revolutionary. It also set the standard for what is considered good health today.
It also led to the development of public health strategies and organized interventions to help people stay healthy, which have continued to grow in popularity. These include dietary advice, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and other high-risk behaviors.
Many of these practices and interventions are easy to implement. They don’t take up much time or space, and they’re linked to lower risk of chronic disease and a longer life.
But others are more difficult to incorporate into daily life, such as a person’s diet or the amount of exercise they get. Eating a plant-based diet, exercising regularly, controlling weight, and getting enough sleep are all essential to living a healthier lifestyle.
Other activities, such as avoiding excessive stress or limiting alcohol intake, are less visible but still have significant impact on a person’s overall health. Schedule these practices throughout your day and you’ll be on the road to a better you.
Wholeness is a core aspect of the lay perspective on health (Zahra, 2006; Fugelli & Ingstad, 2007). This means that health is viewed as a holistic phenomenon – it includes everyday life, work, family life, and community life.
Pragmatism is another key aspect of the lay view on health, as it reflects the idea that health is a relative thing. This idea is important in a society where people are often struggling with economic and social inequality, and where many are not able to afford access to needed health care.
Individualism is a third key aspect of the lay view on health, which emphasizes that people’s health depends on their personal values and situation. This idea is important in a society in which there are many cultural and social differences.
Several studies have shown that the lay view of health is very different from the scientific approach. These studies focus on how individuals perceive determinants of health and what they think contributes to their well-being in different environments, such as a small or large city, a rural community, or a tribal village.