Health is an overall condition of mental, physical and social well being where infirmity and illness are absent. Many different definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. One of the most common health terms is described as the quality of life or well-being. It is commonly used as a standard of measurement when comparing the health of an individual to the standard of living.
One important factor to consider when determining the health status is the impact of traumatic events like accidents and sudden deaths on health conditions. Mental disorders are common causes of stress, depression and anxiety. Illness and diseases result from genetic factors, lifestyle and dietary habits. However, these conditions can be prevented with appropriate lifestyle changes and medical intervention. Some health conditions are associated with certain lifestyle variables, like smoking, alcohol, and drugs, that are difficult to alter and control on one’s own.
Good health conditions result from having balanced mental health, physical health and emotional well-being. A physically fit body is vital to good health. People need a healthy body to perform their daily activities and remain active. Emotional well-being is related to a person’s emotional security. The ability to love and to take care of oneself is important to emotional well-being.
The field of health science has made great advances over the years. There are many categories of diseases and health conditions, which fall under the heading of mental health science. These include affective disorders (including depression), anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar and manic disorders, eating disorders, physical illnesses, neurocognitive disorders, personality disorders and abnormal neurological conditions. A variety of diseases may be associated with one or more of these categories. Stress is also a serious health problem. It can be associated with almost any disease or illness.
Health determinants play an important role in determining the health status of an individual. Some of the determinants of physical health include: Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar level, and body fat. Some of the determinants of mental health include: sex, race, educational level, socioeconomic status, family history, and neighborhood environment. And some of the determinants of emotional health include: stress level, self-esteem, optimism, social support network, and life style choices.
Although lifestyle choices have an important role to play in determining an individual’s health status, they are not the sole determinant. Using all available information and determining a person’s risk of acquiring a certain illness or chronic diseases is an important part of any health policy. For example, an increase in cigarette smoking prevalence by teens and young adults provides an explanation as to why adult tobacco use has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. In addition, knowing how people live in different areas and with different types of communities in the U.S. provides a basis for understanding why higher poverty rates may lead to higher levels of childhood obesity and other chronic diseases.