The word health refers to a state of complete emotional and physical well-being. Healthcare exists to help people maintain this optimal state of health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthcare costs in the United States were
However, despite this expenditure, people in the U.S. have a lower life expectancy than people in other developed countries. This is due to a variety of factors, including access to healthcare and lifestyle choices.
Good health is central to handling stress and living a longer, more active life. In this article, we explain the meaning of good health, the types of health a person needs to consider, and how to preserve good health.
In 1948, the
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
In 1986, the
“A resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”
This means that health is a resource to support an individual’s function in wider society, rather than an end in itself. A healthful lifestyle provides the means to lead a full life with meaning and purpose.
In 2009, researchers publishing in
They base this definition on the idea that the past few decades have seen modern science take significant strides in the awareness of diseases by understanding how they work, discovering new ways to slow or stop them, and acknowledging that an absence of pathology may not be possible.
Mental and physical health are probably the two most frequently discussed types of health.
Spiritual, emotional, and financial health also contribute to overall health. Medical experts have linked these to lower stress levels and improved mental and physical well-being.
People with better financial health, for example, may worry less about finances and have the means to buy fresh food more regularly. Those with good spiritual health may feel a sense of calm and purpose that fuels good mental health.
Health inequities affect all of us differently. Visit our dedicated hub for an in-depth look at social disparities in health and what we can do to correct them.
A person who has good physical health is likely to have bodily functions and processes working at their peak.
This is not only due not only to an absence of disease. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest all contribute to good health. People receive medical treatment to maintain the balance, when necessary.
Physical well-being involves pursuing a healthful lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease. Maintaining physical fitness, for example, can protect and develop the endurance of a person’s breathing and heart function, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.
Looking after physical health and well-being also involves reducing the risk of an injury or health issue, such as:
- minimizing hazards in the workplace
- using contraception when having sex
- practicing effective hygiene
- avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs
- taking the recommended vaccines for a specific condition or country when traveling
Good physical health can work in tandem with mental health to improve a person’s overall quality of life.
For example, mental illness, such as depression, may increase the risk of drug use disorders, according to
According to the
It is harder to define mental health than physical health because many psychological diagnoses depend on an individual’s perception of their experience.
With improvements in testing, however, doctors are now able to identify some physical signs of some types of mental illness in CT scans and genetic tests.
Good mental health is not only categorized by the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder. It also depends on a person’s ability to:
- enjoy life
- bounce back after difficult experiences and adapt to adversity
- balance different elements of life, such as family and finances
- feel safe and secure
- achieve their full potential
Physical and mental health have strong connections. For example, if a chronic illness affects a person’s ability to complete their regular tasks, it may lead to depression and stress. These feelings could be due to financial problems or mobility issues.
A mental illness, such as depression or anorexia, can affect body weight and overall function.
It is important to approach “health” as a whole, rather than as a series of separate factors. All types of health are linked, and people should aim for overall well-being and balance as the keys to good health.
Find out how mental health can affect physical health here.
Good health depends on a wide range of factors.
A person is born with a variety of genes. In some people, an unusual genetic pattern or change can lead to a less-than-optimum level of health. People may inherit genes from their parents that increase their risk for certain health conditions.
Environmental factors play a role in health. Sometimes, the environment alone is enough to impact health. Other times, an environmental trigger can cause illness in a person who has an increased genetic risk of a particular disease.
Access to healthcare plays a role, but the WHO suggest that the following factors may have a more significant impact on health than this:
- where a person lives
- the state of the surrounding environment
- their income
- their level of education
- employment status
It is possible to categorize these as follows:
- The social and economic environment: This may include the financial status of a family or community, as well as the social culture and quality of relationships.
- The physical environment: This includes which germs exist in an area, as well as pollution levels.
- A person’s characteristics and behaviors: A person’s genetic makeup and lifestyle choices can affect their overall health.
According to some studies, the higher a person’s socioeconomic status (SES), the
They also maintain that people with low socioeconomic status are more likely to experience stress due to daily living, such as financial difficulties, marital disruption, and unemployment.
Social factors may also impact on the risk of poor health for people with lower SES, such as marginalization and discrimination.
A low SES often means reduced access to healthcare. A 2018 study in
Cultural issues can affect health. The traditions and customs of a society and a family’s response to them can have a good or bad impact on health.
According to the Seven Countries Study, researchers studied people in select European countries and found that those who ate a healthful diet had a lower 20-year death rate.
The study indicated that people who ate a healthful diet are more likely to consume high levels of fruits, vegetables, and olives than people who regularly consume fast food.
The study also found that people who followed the Mediterranean diet had a lower 10-year all-cause mortality rate. According to the
How a person manages stress will also affect their health. According to the
The best way to maintain health is to preserve it through a healthful lifestyle rather than waiting until sickness or infirmity to address health problems. People use the name wellness to describe this continuous state of enhanced well-being.
“Wellness is the optimal state of health of individuals and groups. There are two focal concerns: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually, and economically, and the fulfillment of one’s roles and expectations in the family, community, place of worship, and other settings.”
Wellness promotes active awareness of and participating in measures that preserve health, both as an individual and in the community. Maintaining wellness and optimal health is a lifelong, daily commitment.
Steps that can help people attain wellness include:
- eating a balanced, nutritious diet from as many natural sources as possible
- engaging in at least
150 minutesof moderate to high-intensity exercise every week, according to the American Heart Association
- screening for diseases that may present a risk
- learning to manage stress effectively
- engaging in activities that provide purpose
- connecting with and caring for other people
- maintaining a positive outlook on life
- defining a value system and putting it into action
The definition of peak health is highly individual, as are the steps a person may take to get there. Every person has different health goals and a variety of ways to achieve them.
It may not be possible to avoid disease altogether. However, a person should do as much as they can to develop resilience and prepare the body and mind to deal with illnesses as they arise.
Learn more about the health benefits of socializing here.
What is meant by preservation of good health? ›
Health preservation is a branch of Chinese medicine that teaches practical ways of preventing illness and maintaining good health throughout one's life. This pursuit of health and longevity has especially influenced the lifestyles of traditional Chinese and Asian cultures for over 2,000 years.What are 2 definitions of health? ›
The first is that health is the absence of any disease or impairment. The second is that health is a state that allows the individual to adequately cope with all demands of daily life (implying also the absence of disease and impairment).What health means quizlet? ›
Health (WHO DEF) A state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.What was the original definition of health? ›
(Slide 2) 1948 WHO definition of health. “A state of complete physical, mental and social. well-being and not merely the absence of. disease or infirmity”Why is preservation of health important? ›
In these current times, we need to take care of our health to prevent many diseases. Health, in general, has a crucial role in being happy, as many people in the world suffer from diseases, but health enables them to fight the infections, and hence they feel comfortable and enjoy life.What is your definition of health? ›
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.What is the meaning for health? ›
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”What is health very short answer? ›
Health is a state of complete physical mental and social well being. Its not only the absence of disease. A person is said to be healthy when he/she is free of any type of disease (infectious/deficiency), when he/she is mentally happy and healthy and when his/her social relationships are healthy in a society.What is the importance of health? ›
Being healthy should be part of your overall lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Feeling good about yourself and taking care of your health are important for your self-esteem and self-image. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing what is right for your body.What are the 4 concepts of health? ›
Four distinct conceptions of health emerged from responses to the "how do you know" question: physical, psychosocial, capacity, and control.
Who changed definition of health? ›
The WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of infirmity or disease." This definition was developed in the wake of World War II, when the United Nations created the WHO to spark global health initiatives for individuals all over the world to achieve “the ...What is your definition of health essay? ›
Essay on Health: Health was earlier said to be the ability of the body functioning well. However, as time evolved, the definition of health also evolved. It cannot be stressed enough that health is the primary thing after which everything else follows. When you maintain good health, everything else falls into place.What are three benefits of preserving? ›
Canning, drying, and freezing allow you to control your food ingredients and eat healthy year-round. Preserving food reduces food waste, waste in landfills, and our environmental footprint. It also contributes to the local economy and your wallet.What is the most important of health? ›
“There are three key things that healthy people do every day: exercise, maintain a nutritious diet and get a good night's sleep.What are 5 important things about health? ›
So just what are the most important factors for establishing optimum health. Studies indicate that the following five factors make the biggest difference in overall health and wellness: 1) diet; 2) rest; 3) exercise; 4) posture; and 5) avoiding the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.What are the 7 components of health? ›
Wellness is commonly viewed as having seven dimensions: mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational. These dimensions are interdependent and influence each other.What are the 5 pillars of health? ›
Experiencing optimal health involves focusing on the five pillars of health including detoxification, nutrition, fitness, hormone optimization, and stress reduction.Why is it so hard to define health? ›
Health means different things in different cultures and therefore a definition developed in the Western world may not be useful in the East due to varying cultural beliefs about what constitutes being healthy. The definition can be vague in order to make it useable in a number of different environments.WHO defined the right to health? ›
The World Health Organization defines the right to health as “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” States should ensure both freedoms and entitlements.Where does health come from? ›
Factors such as income, employment, education, housing, social connections and support, the environment, behaviours, and genetics influence health. These many factors, known as 'health determinants', may be risk or protective factors, and interact to influence the health of individuals and communities.
What is the biblical definition of preserve? ›
David prayed, "Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust" (Psalm 16:1). The Hebrew word that David uses for "preserve" in this verse is packed with meaning. It says, in essence, "Put a hedge around me, a wall of protective thorns. Guard me and keep me. Observe my every move, all my comings and goings."What does preservation mean in medical terms? ›
To prevent (organic bodies) from decaying or spoiling: preserved the specimen in a chemical solution.What are examples of preservation? ›
Preservation protects the environment from harmful human activities. For example, conserving a forest typically involves sustainable logging practices to minimize deforestation. Preservation would involve setting aside part or even all of the forest from human development.What does the Bible say about preservation? ›
Luke 17:33. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.What is the word for preserving? ›
conserve, defend, freeze, keep, perpetuate, protect, retain, safeguard, save, secure, store, sustain, uphold, bottle, can, cure, evaporate, guard, mothball, mummify.What is the purpose of a preservation? ›
What is preservation? Preservation encompasses the activities which prolong the usable life of archival records. Preservation activities are designed to minimize the physical and chemical deterioration of records and to prevent the loss of informational content.What is the best preservation method for you? ›
Dehydrating is one of the best preservation methods for long-term storage. When stored in an airtight container, dehydrated foods last years, sometimes even decades. Another perk of dehydrating is that the food retains 97 percent of its original nutritional content.What are the two types of preservation? ›
Dry curing – you apply salt to the food, such as meat, and leave it to draw out the water. Wet curing – better known as brine, you mix salt with water and add food to the liquid to preserve it, usually together with canning (see the canning section of this guide).What is a good sentence for preservation? ›
The buildings are in a good state of preservation.What are the four types of preservation? ›
Among the oldest methods of preservation are drying, refrigeration, and fermentation. Modern methods include canning, pasteurization, freezing, irradiation, and the addition of chemicals.
What are the factors of preservation? ›
Several intrinsic and extrinsic factors associated with foods serve to promote preservation, the most important of which include: water activity (aw), temperature (low or high), preservatives (i.e., nitrite), acidity (pH), competitive microorganisms (i.e., lactic acid bacteria), and redox potential (Eh).