Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition “of full physical, mental and social wellness and not just the absence of illness and disease.” Various definitions have been utilized over the years for various purposes. Some health terms are used interchangeably by individuals in different countries with little to no understanding of their differences. Knowing the meaning of health will promote your well being.
Health refers to a person’s ability to live a quality life. It also refers to the state or quality of the state of health in comparison to other persons of a similar culture and origin. The quality of life has many facets, including a healthy body, mind, and society. The concepts of public health, family health, and community health can be all combined into the umbrella term of “public health care”.
The concepts of public health care include determinants of a healthy environment, basic determinants of individual behavior, and protective factors such as social factors. Individuals differ in their behaviors and attitudes toward health. Some are healthy and others are unhealthy. Some are conscientious about their health, while others are not. Some take more medications than others. And some engage in extreme exercises that are considered dangerous to one’s overall health.
An individual’s healthy behaviors are influenced by a variety of environmental, biological, social, and personal factors. These behaviors are then translated into individual outcomes or health status. As a result, health services are often viewed as a means of improving these individual outcomes. The primary objective of health services is to provide medical care that improves the patient’s health and enhances his/her quality of life. In addition, a focus on prevention and healthy lifestyle promotes long-term preventive health care strategies.
Health promotion focuses on achieving appropriate population health objectives through strategies and policies designed to promote healthy living. These objectives are influenced by social determinants of health including race/ethnicity, gender, age, nutrition, and geographic location. Health promotion policies therefore take these social determinants into account to address existing and future healthcare needs.
Prevention is better than cure. There is a great deal that can be done to avoid illnesses before they develop into serious ailments. A primary objective of prevention is to reduce the prevalence of illness. This objective is improved through a combination of practices that involve comprehensive assessment of the physical environment, understanding the individual characteristics that affect health, and implementing policies that control and monitor individual behaviors, environmental factors, and social factors.