“Health,” according to the World Health Organization defines it as “a condition of the body at its optimum level that includes physiological, psychological and social aspects.” Various definitions have been applied to this term over the years. Societal definition has included aspects of a person’s life in regards to his or her health. Although this definition may be broad, there are many individual aspects that fall under this larger umbrella. By examining a person’s health, one can better understand his or her strengths and weaknesses, as well as determine how he or she can be most effective.
Good health, according to these observations, requires favorable changes in lifestyle choices and physical environment. One’s diet and exercise habits affect his or her overall health. He needs to eat healthy foods that contribute to good health through the promotion of optimal nutrition. A person who exercises regularly and avoids diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease also possesses good health. These individuals are able to live a long and productive life because they are free from disease, which hinders growth and functionality.
Good health, as defined by WHO, includes the absence of all diseases, impairment of body functioning leading to painless and normal functioning, absence of death due to any cause other than cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, genito-urinary, infectious, neurological, orthopedic and endocrine diseases and impairment of major organs affecting functioning. With these definitions, some diseases that were previously thought to be illnesses are now seen as normal aspects of the aging process or of a disease state. In this way, a person’s health can be improved through prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Prevention refers to strategies and methods that are used to avoid or delay disease progression.
Disease progression occurs when a patient’s immunity declines against disease agents. With the exception of cancer, the onset of AIDS is associated with lack of immunity. In the same manner, the occurrence of chronic infections such as influenza and HIV is associated with immunity deficiency. Since prevention is often equated with cure, a healthy lifestyle is promoted through early diagnosis of diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. It is also essential in avoiding disability due to lack of physical activities.
A state of complete physical, emotional, and social well-Being is not simply the absence of infirmity, but the real presence of health. A person must have the capacity to enjoy his life and work productively at work and at home. A person must be capable of achieving and maintaining a happy and meaningful relationship with others. He must be capable of managing work and home efficiently and effectively. This implies a positive concept stressing social responsibility and the provision of basic necessities.
The promotion of health care has a long way to go. It must be based on prevention of diseases, promoting healthy relationships, increasing access to quality medical care, and providing preventive services to all. A comprehensive public health program should take care of every aspect of general health, including prevention of diseases, promoting general well-being, maintaining appropriate weight, improving nutrition, and encouraging physical activity.