What is health? Health can be defined as the absence of disease or as risk factors for the development of a disease. It can also refer to an individual’s general sense of wellbeing that encompasses the physical, mental, and social spheres. Health is the sum total of an individual’s physical, mental, and social states, and it reflects the interactions among determinants such as genetics, lifestyle, and environment. It can be a positive or negative state of wellbeing, and it depends on interventions and determinants.
Generally, health is described in quantitative terms, including function and the likelihood of imminent disease. These measurements are contained in reference values tables and textbooks in clinical medicine and diagnosis. A health examination will likely include a battery of tests, some quantitative and some descriptive. The latter will identify the presence of a disease in a seemingly healthy person. To this end, we need to rethink the very definition of health. It is no longer a simple absence of disease.
Depending on your environment, the definition of good health will be different for different people. For example, a fragile individual may experience a heart attack while heavy shoveling is not appropriate for them. People living at sea level may experience shortness of breath or anemia if they move to the mountains. This suggests that the definition of good health should be flexible enough to reflect this change in environment. This article will address some of the more important aspects of mental health, such as stress management and emotional well-being.
In addition to the physical and mental aspects of health, the mental and social dimensions of life must also be considered. The French physician Georges Canguilhem’s book The Normal and the Pathological rejected the concept of a normal or abnormal state of health in favour of an interpretation that defines health as the capacity to adapt to conditions. Canguilhem also believed that health was a’state of being’ and not a fixed entity. Every individual has a unique sense of health based on their functional needs and the conditions that surround them. In this light, the role of the physician is to help the individual adapt to their surroundings.
Genetics can affect health, and the environment we live in can affect our health. Our genetic makeup and our lifestyles can determine how healthy we are. Research has shown that people in developed countries have better health than people in low-income countries. For example, higher socioeconomic status tends to have longer lives than their counterparts. While genetics and lifestyles are closely linked, we cannot deny the fact that our environment is a major contributor to our health.
In terms of health, the WHO defines health as the absence of disease, and a person’s environment contributes to our physical and mental wellbeing. The 2017 Massachusetts State Health Assessment shows that the health of an individual is determined by factors outside of genetics, including access to health care. The social determinants of health are the many factors that affect the physical and mental well-being of a person. The social determinants of health are shaped by resources, money, and power, and are therefore often influenced by institutions and policies created by people with money.