Health is a condition of physical, mental and emotional well being in which infirmity and illness are either absent or positively prevented. It is the combination of the physiological and the psychological elements that affect a human body. The term “health” is usually used in conjunction with the word “lifestyle”. However, it can also be used singly, to refer to the set of values and attitudes towards health that people adopt, whether consciously or unconsciously. This article briefly discusses some of the basic concepts regarding the concept of health.
The ability to survive or thrive in a society depends on the capacity to be able to acquire the means for good health. It is important for adults to lead healthy lifestyles. Healthy diets, regular exercise, and a balanced quantity of sleep and nutrients constitute the basic components of a healthy life. Illness is the result when the capacity to function normally is impaired by an underlying condition. Illness can have various forms, and physical handicaps can be as simple as a bad back, to more complicated disorders such as HIV or cardiovascular illnesses.
The third definition of health has to do with the preservation of life. Life can be described in different ways, depending on the cultural and historical contexts. According to the third definition, life is generally good. Illness and death are inevitable. But when death approaches, a person may not want to be categorized as morbidly ill, especially if there is still some years of life ahead. According to this approach, a person may live a healthy, full life, even though he may have contracted some form of disease.
The definition of a healthful lifestyle relies heavily on prevention and early detection. For existing diseases, there are new ways for prevention. However, for incurable diseases, cures seem to be impossible. Illness seems to be inevitable, but this will change with the discovery of new ways of life.
According to the fourth definition of health, a person is diagnosed with having a disease if his medical history shows signs of a serious medical condition. Signs of a serious medical condition include those that involve major organ malfunction, for example, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, or aneurysm. Sometimes, a patient’s symptoms are misinterpreted as a minor ailment; these then get treated as a minor illness and are thus not under the rubric of being a disease. In fact, a patient can be diagnosed with a disease when his regular routine healthily deteriorates and becomes markedly different from what it was earlier. This deterioration may be due to the onset of any new medical condition, but usually it is because of the accumulation of illnesses that have previously existed.
These definitions of health often vary, depending on the culture and country where the question is being asked. However, these general definitions give a clear picture of what public health is about. It refers to the practice of controlling the spread of disease, ensuring the quality of life for as many people as possible, and maintaining a healthy environment. The practice also involves taking preventive measures, improving the lives of the sick and their family, implementing policies that promote healthy behaviors among the community as a whole, and addressing the root causes of the problems that affect all of us.