The Concepts of Health and Wellness
We hear a lot about the need for healthy eating and exercise. Yet few people fully grasp the concept of health. Health, according to the World Health Organization, “is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not the absence of illness and infirmity.” A number of definitions have historically been used for such purposes. However, from these definitions there are many differences that can help us to understand what the word health really means.
The dictionary definition is as follows: “the condition of being healthy and in good health”. The WHO expanded this by adding the stipulation that “cohort a complete physical and mental profile” and to further define it, “having the capacity to learn, decide and execute”. In addition to these definitions there are other important factors to consider when examining the meaning of the term “health”. These factors include the culture in which the people live, their attitudes and beliefs, the type of education received, medical treatment received and their overall health status. All of these aspects are included in the definition of “complete physical and mental profile”.
Healthy physical well-being is described by being psychologically and emotionally healthy. A well-balanced psychological health profile combines the elements of both mental and physical health. Mental health refers to the ability to deal with everyday demands while maintaining an attitude of positive achievement and having enough energy to undertake the tasks at hand. This balance between mental health and physical health has a profound impact on the individual’s ability to resist disease and injury and to adapt more effectively to stress and pressure.
The second factor, the social environment, encompasses the influence of the community in which a person lives and the beliefs, attitudes and practices of other members of the community. These social determinants of health may include the educational level, employment, political and social organization and general health and living conditions. Social factors also affect health through the influences of other people and their actions. For instance, those who live in poverty are at higher risk of illness and disability.
In addition, the physical environment has an effect on the physical health as well as the mental health. This environment includes the home, neighborhood, work and school. The quality of the physical environment, for example, has an effect on the mental health. Family life style, the quality of relationships, the exposure to various environmental risks and the overall health and fitness of an individual have a considerable impact on the mental health and well-being.
The concepts of healthful behaviors and healthy diet, exercise, and social environments are interrelated and it is important to address all these components in order to achieve well-being. These concepts are not mutually exclusive but rather they are dependent upon one another. It is important to address the needs of persons suffering from different types of diseases and disorders to realize their full potential in life. Health services may include treating the physical illness and improving the nutritional status of individuals and families to promote the definition of healthful behaviors.