The Definition of Health

The definition of “health” has changed throughout the years. Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease. Various other definitions have also been applied to health in various contexts.


In most developed countries, the concept of well-being is closely associated with medical care. It refers to the well being of the human mind and body that can be achieved through appropriate food intake, a healthy environment, social support, physical activities and other forms of activity that enhance the health of an individual. It is considered a human right because it contributes significantly to economic well being. In fact, some say that having a healthy economy is a major component of living a decent life.

Well-being is a complex concept that goes beyond the absence or presence of physical illness or disability. It implies the quality of life that people attain even when they are physically healthy and combating diseases and aging processes as they occur. For example, a healthy body that is devoid of pain or discomfort can be considered healthy and can contribute to personal well-being. Likewise, a society that eliminates death and illness from its culture can also contribute to this state.

The absence of a specific disease is not enough to establish the presence of a condition. In fact, one of the first steps to maintaining a healthy body and a society that is free from illnesses and disease is prevention. This prevention takes many forms. One of the three major keys to preventing diseases and illnesses is through education, the second is through public awareness, and the last is through risk factors that increase the likelihood of acquiring the disease or illness.

Prevention also entails taking high levels of medication in order to counter the diseases and illnesses that you already have. There is a growing concern that there are too many people with high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety, and low self-esteem who do not take adequate care of themselves. The promotion of healthful diets that decrease the risk of these illnesses and create a healthier, happier population may help to reduce health disparities.

As noted, prevention is easier than the cure, especially for diseases and illnesses that are chronic. The lack of a cure also creates an increased risk of the condition from occurring again. This means that the goal of a healthy lifestyle should be a state of relative healthfulness that exists without any occurrence of symptoms. By creating a healthy environment, individuals and families can better manage their mental health and their physical environment.