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What is health?

In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) Trusted Source defined health with a phrase that modern authorities still apply.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

In 1986, the WHO Trusted Source made further clarifications:

“A resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”

Therefore, health is not a goal in and of itself, but rather a means through which one might contribute to the greater good of society. The ability to live a life rich in experience and significance is one of the many benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

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According to a 2009 study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, health is defined as resistance to disease and injury.

This definition is predicated on the belief that medical science has made great strides in the last few decades toward a better understanding of diseases, the development of new methods for slowing or stopping them, and the acceptance of the possibility that a state devoid of pathology may be impossible.


The two most common forms of health to address are mental and physical health.

The state of one’s spirituality, emotions, and finances all have a role in one’s general well-being. Reduced stress and enhanced psychological and physiological health have been linked to these by medical researchers.

Those that are financially stable may not fret as much about their bills and may afford to stock up on nutritious foods on a regular basis. Those who are spiritually healthy may have a feeling of peace and meaning in life, which may have a beneficial effect on their emotional and psychological wellbeing.

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Physical health

When a person is physically healthy, their organs and systems are more likely to be operating at optimal levels.

This is not attributable just to the lack of illness. In addition to a healthy diet and enough of sleep, regular physical activity is also important. When it is required, medical therapy is used to help people keep their equilibrium.

Achieving a state of physical health requires adopting practices that lessen one’s vulnerability to illness. Keeping healthy, for instance, may help someone preserve and improve their respiratory and cardiac health, muscle strength, flexibility, and body composition.

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Looking after physical health and well-being also involves reducing the risk of an injury or health issue, such as:

  • Minimizing hazards in the workplace
  • Using contraception when having sex
  • Practicing effective hygiene
  • Avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs
  • Taking the recommended vaccines for a specific condition or country when traveling

Mental health

The term “mental health” is used to describe a person’s state of emotional, social, and psychological wellness, as defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (Trusted Source). A healthy mind is essential for a whole and busy existence.

When compared to physical health, mental health is more nebulous and subjective, making it more difficult to quantify.

CT scans and genetic tests, however, have allowed physicians to detect physical manifestations of certain forms of mental disease.

Good mental health is not only categorized by the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder. It also depends on a person’s ability to:

  • Enjoy life
  • Bounce back after difficult experiences and adapt to adversity
  • Balance different elements of life, such as family and finances
  • Feel safe and secure
  • Achieve their full potential

There is a close relationship between one’s physical and emotional well-being. Example: despair and stress may set in if a person’s capacity to go about their daily life is hindered, as could be the case if they were afflicted with a chronic disease. There are a number of factors that might be contributing to these emotions, including monetary difficulties and limited mobility.

When a person suffers from a mental disorder, such as depression or anorexia, it may have a negative impact on their weight and ability to carry out daily tasks.

The concept of “health” should be seen holistically, rather than as a collection of unrelated parts. Optimal health requires attention to the whole person, rather than just one facet.

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