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Definition Of Health

Definition Of Health

According to the World Health Organization, health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” [1] Over time, various definitions have been used for various purposes. Health can be improved by encouraging healthy behaviors, such as regular physical activity and adequate sleep,[2] and reducing or avoiding unhealthy behaviors or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some health-related factors result from individual choices, such as whether to engage in high-risk behavior. In contrast, others result from structural causes, such as whether society is organized in a way that makes it easier or more difficult for people to obtain necessary healthcare services. Other factors, such as genetic disorders, are beyond the control of either individuals or groups.
The definition of health has changed over time. Early definitions of health, in keeping with the biomedical perspective, focused on the body’s ability to function; health was viewed as a normal function that could be disrupted from time to time by disease. “A state characterized by anatomic, physiologic, and psychological integrity; ability to perform personally valued family, work, and community roles; ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological, and social stress,” according to one definition. [3] The World Health Organization (WHO) then proposed a definition that aimed higher, linking health to “physical, mental, and social well-being, rather than merely the absence of disease and infirmity,” in 1948, in a radical departure from previous definitions. [4] Although this definition was praised by some as innovative, it was also criticized for being vague and overly broad, as well as needing to be more measurable. It was dismissed as an impractical ideal for a long time, with most health discussions returning to the biomedical model’s practicality. [5]

The same shift occurred in definitions of health, from viewing disease as a state to thinking of it as a process. Again, the WHO took the lead in fostering the development of the health promotion movement in the 1980s. This brought a new conception of health, not as a state, but in dynamic terms of resiliency, in other words, as “a resource for living.” WHO revised the definition of health in 1984, defining it as “the extent to which an individual or group is able to realize aspirations and satisfy needs and to change or cope with the environment. Health is a resource for daily life, not the goal of living; it is a positive concept that emphasizes social and personal resources and physical capabilities.” [6] Thus, health was defined as the capacity to maintain homeostasis and recover from adversity. Mental, intellectual, emotional, and social health refers to a person’s ability to deal with stress, learn new skills, and maintain relationships, all of which contribute to resiliency and independent living. [5] This opens up many opportunities for health to be taught, strengthened, and learned.

The federal Healthy People Program has been a visible component of the United States’ approach to improving population health since the late 1970s.

[7][8] Each decade, a new version of Healthy People is released [9] with updated goals and identifying topic areas and quantifiable objectives for health improvement over the next ten years, with an assessment of progress or lack thereof. Many objectives have seen limited progress, raising concerns about Healthy People’s effectiveness in shaping outcomes in a decentralized and uncoordinated US health system. Healthy People 2020 emphasizes health promotion and prevention strategies and the importance of addressing social determinants of health. Instead of bulky printed books as in the past, a new expanded digital interface facilitates use and dissemination. The effect of these changes on Healthy People will be determined over the next few years. [10]
 Definition Of Health
Healthcare providers engage in systematic activities to prevent or cure health problems and promote good health in humans. Veterinary sciences are concerned with animal health applications. The term “healthy” is also widely used in the context of many different types of non-living organizations and their effects on humans, such as healthy communities, healthy cities, or healthy environments. Aside from health care interventions and a person’s surroundings, several other factors influence an individual’s health status. These are known as “determinants of health,” including an individual’s background, lifestyle, economic status, social conditions, and spirituality. High levels of stress have been shown in studies to affect human health. [11]

The conceptualization of health as an ability in the first decade of the twenty-first century opened the door for self-assessments to become the primary indicators for judging the performance of efforts to improve human health.

[12] It also provided an opportunity for everyone to feel healthy, even if they had multiple chronic diseases or a terminal condition, as well as a re-examination of health determinants (away from the traditional approach that focuses on reducing the prevalence of diseases). [13]

Additionally, see Social Determinants of Health and Risk Factors.
In general, an individual’s living environment significantly impacts his health and quality of life. It is becoming increasingly clear that health is maintained and improved not only through the advancement and application of health science but also through the efforts and wise lifestyle choices of individuals and societies. According to the World Health Organization, the main determinants of health are the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and the person’s individual characteristics and behaviors. [14]

Key factors that have been discovered to influence whether people are healthy or unhealthy include the following:



Earnings and social standing
Networks of social support
Literacy and Education
Working conditions/Employment
Social situations
Physical surroundings
Personal health habits and coping mechanisms
Healthy child development
Genetics and biology
Services for Healthcare
Gender \sCulture

In 1966, Donald Henderson was a member of the CDC’s smallpox eradication team.
An increasing number of studies and reports from various organizations and contexts investigate the links between health and various factors such as lifestyles, environments, healthcare organizations, and health policy, with the introduction of the sugar tax being one specific health policy implemented in many countries in recent years. Beverage taxes were introduced in response to rising obesity rates, particularly among young people. With mounting evidence linking sugar-sweetened beverages to obesity, they have become a target of anti-obesity initiatives. [17]- for example, the 1974 Lalonde report from Canada;[16] the Alameda County Study in California;[18] and the World Health Organization’s series of World Health Reports, which focuses on global health issues such as access to health care and improving public health outcomes, particularly in developing countries. [19]

The concept of the “health field,” as opposed to medical care, emerged from Canada’s Lalonde report. According to the report, three interdependent fields are important determinants of an individual’s health. They are as follows: [16]

Lifestyle: the collection of personal decisions (i.e., decisions over which the individual has control) that can be said to contribute to or cause illness or death.
Environmental health refers to all aspects of health external to the human body and over which the individual has little or no control.
Biomedical: all aspects of physical and mental health that develop within the human body due to genetic makeup.
The maintenance and promotion of health are accomplished through various combinations of physical, mental, and social well-being—a combination known as the “health triangle.”
[21] According to the WHO’s 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, health is more than just a state “a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept that emphasizes social and personal resources in addition to physical capabilities.” [22]

Using the Alameda County Study data to focus on lifestyle issues and their relationships with functional health, people can improve their health by exercising, getting enough sleep, spending time in nature, maintaining healthy body weight, limiting alcohol use, and not smoking.

[23] People with multiple chronic diseases or terminal illnesses can consider themselves healthy, proving that health and illness coexist. [24]

The environment is frequently mentioned as an important factor influencing people’s health. This includes natural environment, built environment, and social environment characteristics. Clean water and air, adequate housing, and safe communities and roads have contributed to good health, particularly in infants and children. [14] [25] According to some studies, a lack of neighborhood recreational spaces, including natural areas, leads to lower levels of personal satisfaction and higher levels of obesity, which is linked to poor overall health and well-being. [26] Increased time spent in natural environments has been linked to improved self-reported health[27], implying that the positive health benefits of natural space in urban neighborhoods should be considered in public policy and land use.

Genetics, or inherited traits from parents, also play a role in determining individual and population health. This can include a predisposition to certain diseases and health conditions and the habits and behaviors individuals develop due to their family’s lifestyle. For example, genetics may influence how people cope with mental, emotional, or physical stress. Obesity, for example, is a major issue in the United States, contributing to poor mental health and causing stress in many people’s lives. [28] One challenge is the debate over the relative strengths of genetics and other factors; interactions between genetics and environment may be especially important.

Step 1 Think about a particular community and family within that community that you are familiar with. Reference that community and family in your answers to the following prompts.

Step 2 Answer the following questions in your initial post due Wednesday at 11:59 pm Mountain Time:

Describe the relationship between the family’s definition of health and the community’s definition of health.
Describe the relationship between the family’s concept of health promotion and that of the community. Explain how the family’s concept of health promotion affects the community’s definition of health promotion.
Explain the influence of family beliefs and values on the definition of health and their relationship to health promotion.
Step 3 Read other students’ posts and respond to at least two of them by Friday 11:59pm MT.

In your response to each of your peers, choose at least two things you agree with and explain your opinions. Use your personal experience, if it’s relevant, to support or debate other students’ posts. If differences of opinion occur, debate the issues professionally and provide examples to support your opinion.

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