The topic of health is a broad one. Most people refer to it as being physically healthy. However, this definition has become increasingly complex due to recent advances in medical knowledge and research. Health, according to the World Health Organization, “is a state of full physical, mental and emotional well-being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity”. A number of different definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes.
When considering definitions of health, the simplest definition is that it is the quality of life that an individual has obtained through the processes of his or her life. There are four elements that constitute the definition of health, and they are mortality, morbidity, investment, and adaptation. Mortality is inevitable; death is the logical conclusion of bad health systems. For morbidity, on the other hand, it is the condition or disease of a person that impedes progress towards full health. Investment refers to anything that contributes toward health: physical activities, behavior, attitudes, social and educational development, and the like.
The four elements of the definition of health include two physical determinants and four social determinants. The physical determinant is mortality. All other elements refer to the impact of these two elements on health. Mortality is inevitable; therefore, it can be considered as a social determinant of health. In most cases, people are born into communities with optimal health systems, but as time passes by, people may become exposed to environmental risks, such as exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollution, and occupational hazards.
Illness, on the other hand, comes in the form of either an infection or a serious physical condition. Illness can be caused by physical or chemical agents, both of which can be environmental factors. Examples of environmental factors that cause illnesses include cigarette smoke, ultraviolet radiation from the sun, air pollution, household chemicals, and the like. Some illnesses, such as cancer, are considered to be “public health problems,” since they affect a large number of people, regardless of age, gender, or social status. Some diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, and auto-immune disorders, on the other hand, are considered to be “private health problems” because they affect private individuals.
Developed countries suffer from higher levels of health inequalities than do the developing countries. Because of the different lifestyles and limited access to quality health care, many adults in the developed countries live with chronic illness, while adults in the developing countries live with very low levels of illness and live long, healthy lives. Developed countries also have less healthy diets and less physical well-being. Illness, in turn, can lead to other problems, such as disability, poor health, and decreased life expectancy.
The definition of health is an ongoing exercise in cultural understanding and recognition of the interdependence of our bodies and minds. Health is associated with the definition of happiness, and it has been found that people who have high levels of health are happier than those who have low levels of healthfulness. It has also been found that the absence of serious illnesses, such as chronic conditions, decreases a person’s chances of getting a higher education, a big boost for economic development, and a higher standard of living. A healthy life style is the cornerstone of a rich, balanced, and productive society. Health is the definition of a happy and successful life, and the best approach to health is a healthy lifestyle.