There are many variables involved in determining a person’s health. Many Canadians attribute their good health to their genes and family history, but the truth is that our lifestyle is a critical factor. Our diet and exercise routines are crucial determinants of our health, and our stress levels are also important factors. As a result, health is considered an incredibly complex issue. While it may be difficult to know what causes a person’s illness, we do have a few general guidelines.
The Middle Ages had many cultural influences, but notably, religion and the church played a large role in how we view health. As a result, the church acted as an important infrastructure and gathered knowledge about remedies in its monastery gardens. In the Renaissance and beyond, this forgotten knowledge of antiquity was rediscovered and reframed. From there, the Industrial Revolution changed the meaning of health, as it made it more profitable to produce drugs and other products for human consumption. The Industrial Revolution changed the way we view health, as it became a necessary condition for generating economic profit and the meaning of life.
The World Health Organization defines health as “complete physical, mental, and social well-being.” Yet despite these differences, most people still view health as something to be taken for granted. This is true even though we may feel our health is fragile and can be hampered by circumstances that threaten it. For instance, if you’re experiencing a sudden illness or accident, the medical staff will probably prescribe a new medication. But the definition of health can be much more difficult to define.
Today, the digital society provides us with the opportunity to explore different views of health. Different perspectives of health are competing for our attention online. Some of these ideas have historical roots, while others are just re-purposed historical concepts. Because these views are so widely dispersed, public information about health should take these factors into consideration. It’s important to recognise individual interpretations of health, particularly when these conflict with medical recommendations. So, what do we need to do to change?
First, we must define the term “health system.” This definition is likely to evolve over time, as the number of different systems increases. The term “health system” is a broad concept that encompasses a wide variety of arrangements. Among the categories of health systems, the Coordinating Center, AHRQ, and Center of Excellence contributed their own definitions. We used the Compendium of U.S. Health Systems as a starting point.
Social determinants of health include the conditions of an individual’s surroundings and environment. These factors can have a profound impact on their physical health and well-being. Poor access to healthy food stores and other resources may put a person at risk of developing health problems. Similarly, a lack of access to grocery stores may result in unhealthy diets, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Regardless of the source of the determinants of health, social and economic conditions play a key role in determining a person’s physical health.