The Definition of Health

Health is a complex concept and it is not easily defined. It is a subjective category that depends on personal values, experiences and the context in which a particular understanding of health is elaborated. It is also a constantly changing concept, which is influenced by a variety of factors such as the environment, culture, social and political circumstances, education, laws, and one’s own life course and experience.

Most definitions of health imply that health is something that is closely related to the physical and psychological functioning of an individual as well as his or her relationship to the surroundings. A medical definition of health, for example, equates health with the absence of disease and impairment. However, defining health as the ability to cope with daily life demands is a more complex understanding of health and it implies that people who are healthy can meet various challenges that they may face in their lives.

A person’s level of ill health is measured in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs). DALYs are a measure of the years that someone has lost because of their ill health. This includes both the number of years that a person has spent living with illness and the time that he or she has spent in hospital.

An important factor in determining an individual’s health is his or her nutrition. A balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health. Eating a wide variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, helps ensure that an adequate supply of nutrients is being consumed.

Another important component of physical health is regular exercise. A routine of moderate to vigorous physical activity can help to reduce stress levels, improve sleep, increase energy and promote weight loss. It is a good idea to find an activity that you enjoy so that it will be easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

A sense of humor and a positive attitude to life are also important for mental health. A person who has a positive attitude to life is less likely to become stressed and can handle problems more effectively. A positive attitude can also decrease the risk of depression and increase feelings of contentment.

In the past, the perception of health was largely influenced by religion and the church. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the church continued to play an important role in caring for sick people and in collecting old knowledge on healing herbs from antiquity.

In modern times, the definition of health has become a scientific concept, which was adopted by the World Health Organization in 1948. It defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition of health is based on the work done by the Zagreb Andrija Stampar School of Public Health. It is a very comprehensive and holistic approach that focuses on the needs of individuals and their relationship to their surroundings and community.