What Is Health?

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not simply the absence of illness and infirmity. A number of definitions have also been used over the years for different purposes. One common definition is that health is the ability to enjoy a reasonable quality of life in the presence of competent health care, with respect to age, sex, and socioeconomic status. This state can differ from one person to another and is dependent upon many factors.

The most recent definition by the World Health Organization is that health is a state of well being that is achieved through active involvement of the individual, his family, friends, communities and the community or the national health system. The state of health can be achieved by people through their own efforts and it can be made better by the involvement of the community, the national health system and/or other groups. On this view, health is determined by an interrelated set of factors, which include physical, mental, emotional and social aspects. This definition is also associated with the social justice approach to health, as the definition stresses the right of each person to determine his or her own welfare.

The most common definition of health is a condition or disease that a person experiences during his life and which can be either physiological or psychosomatic. The definition further includes incapacitating or debilitating conditions such as deafness, blindness, brain damage, cancer, heart disease, cancer, developmental disorders, pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. The last four conditions are included because some of these have been associated with a broad range of serious health problems and some are incurable. These conditions, in addition to others, form the major categories of diseases, physical illnesses and disorders. A healthy society could not function well without all these diseases included in its definition. It can be concluded from the above that health defines a person’s ability to live a productive and successful life.