Factors That Affect Health


What is good health? What is ill health? This is a very common question. While many Canadians attribute their good health to genes or family history, most say that their personal lifestyle is a major factor. Exercise and stress levels have direct effects on a person’s health. In fact, health is now considered an essential part of a person’s overall wellbeing. Yet, there are several important factors that contribute to good or ill condition.

The World Health Organization defines health as complete physical, mental and social well-being. According to the World Healthy Organization, health refers to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of life for all people, irrespective of race, gender, socioeconomic status or religion. There are several ways to improve health. The first step is to encourage more and better behaviors and lifestyles. The second step is to promote healthy behaviors and avoid unhealthy situations. Although some factors affect one’s health, they all contribute to overall well-being.

Public health activities are primarily supported by taxation from national governments and donations from individuals. As a result, the funding for public health is relatively low. However, public health is the art and science of preventing disease, promoting wellness and prolonging life. A healthy society involves a vibrant public sector that embraces the principles of equity, participation and collaboration. The WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health published a report in 2004 that included a list of factors that affect health.