Defining Health


Defining Health

Defining health is a difficult task. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being,” without mentioning the social and animate aspects. This definition ignores the fact that aging affects all segments of society, and that a person cannot be healthy simply by not having disease. However, an individual’s overall health is directly influenced by lifestyle, including how much he or she exercises and how stress-free he or she is.

Depending on what one believes to be the best definition of health, the word can be defined in qualitative terms as well as quantitatively. The term “health” can be used to describe the state of an individual’s physical and mental resources and the likelihood that he or she will develop or suffer from disease. This concept focuses on the social and personal resources that are associated with good health, while the term “health inequalities” refers to systematic and avoidable differences in health outcomes. While there are many factors that influence a person’s health, some of them are due to individual choices while others have structural causes.

The World Health Organization’s constitution, adopted on April 7, 1948, identifies the definition of health as complete physical, mental, and social well-being. The term health emphasizes the social, psychological, and emotional aspects of a person’s life. Inequalities in health are often observed among populations, social groups, or between individuals. These disparities can occur between people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. There are many ways to measure and improve one’s health.