According to the World Health Organization, health is “a condition of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.” Various definitions have been used over the years for different purposes. The definition given by WHO is, “Exercise of control over the physical condition that leads to the prevention of death or disability.” It is further described as the ability to cope with ordinary diseases and maintaining quality of life.


Another definition is that of healthy life expectancy, which is, “the duration for which a person lives and enjoys good health, without any major illness or premature death.” The next important element in the definition of good health is physical fitness, which is defined as the ability to maintain a minimum number of calories needed for basic body function. Health in this sense is not just absence of disease but the maintenance of health.

Health definitions also include the element of safety. Healthy dimensions of life need to be attainable despite any obstacle. The absence of any obstacle implies the total absence of illness, disease, injury, or death. One of the main definitions of health is the ability to thrive. Strive is the key word here since the ability to thrive implies the absence of suffering, disease, disability or death.

There are several other definitions such as the one presented above. According to this definition, good health status is something that is obtained through appropriate diet and exercise and is therefore a long-term condition. Another definition is that of healthy functioning. This term pertains to general well being and is an ongoing state. According to this definition, a healthy weight is equivalent to having a body mass index (BMI) of 20. A healthy weight is further defined as the one that is neither underweight or overweight.

The other major definition of health is the comprehensive one, which is comprised of the five major types of illness. These are chronic diseases, malfunction of the immune system, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infectious diseases. The first three are described by the absence of symptoms and the absence of any cause for the same. Cancer, on the other hand, involves the presence of malignant cells in the body; while cardiovascular disease is the process by which the circulation of blood is altered. On the other hand, chronic diseases include those diseases that exhibit serious symptoms such as fevers, pains, and interruptions of blood flow to the different parts of the body.

In order to attain a complete picture of the concepts of health, it is important for people to research the various definitions of healthy and unhealthy and to understand how each affects the overall health and well-being. For instance, health at a physical level implies having a good body mass index and maintaining a balanced blood sugar level. Mental health pertains to maintaining a positive attitude towards life, having reasonable stress level, and having a regular exercise routine. The combination of all these facets leads to physical well-being, mental health, and an overall sense of well being.

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