WHAT IS HEALTH?

Nov 12, 2018 | 0 comments

Nov 12, 2018 | Miscellaneous | 0 comments

WHAT IS HEALTH?

Introduction

World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as the state of complete social, mental and physical wellbeing, and not just disease absence or infirmity. Health is a condition that is dynamic that results from constant adjustments and adaptation of the body in response to changes in the environment and stresses for maintaining the inner equilibrium referred to as homeostasis (WHO, 2016).

According to Nordqvist (2015), health can be categorized into two broad categories; that is mental and physical health.

1. Physical health

The Physical health aspects to humans imply a good health for the body because of regular exercises or physical activities, adequate rest and a good diet. As people in the region or a country experience improved standards of living, healthcare, quality of life and nutrition, their weight and height generally increase (Nordqvist, 2015).

Physical health relates to issues that concern our bodies. Henningfeld (2009) pointed out that physical wellbeing is another term used for physical health. Physical wellbeing is something that an individual can attain by developing all parts of his or her lifestyle that is health related. Fitness reflects an individual’s body composition, flexibility, muscular strength and cardiorespiratory endurance. Furthermore, other physical wellbeing contributors may include getting sleep in its right amount, hygiene, sexual health or responsible sexual behavior, avoiding alcohol abuse, abstaining from drug abuse, body weight management, and proper nutrition.

Nordqvist (2015) pointed out that sometimes physical health is divided into two distinct groups: structural and chemical health.

Structural health: this encompasses sound organs, muscles, bones among others. That the body structures are performing their functions properly. The structural health of a person is associated with an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI), resting pulse rate, height/weight ratio, and recovery time after performing an exercise.

Chemical health: an individual’s chemical health that is good implies that the chemicals in the body of a person are right, and that the body tissues have the right nutrients balance, and that there are no chemicals that are poisonous. People may swallow or inhale synthetic and natural chemicals. Similarly, they can enter the human body through the skin. However, in most instances, the human body can break down the toxic chemicals and eliminate the waste them to avoid toxic overload or risk of intoxication. Nordqvist (2015) also indicated that some chemicals and destroy or harm tissues and cells while other chemicals may affect directly the genetic components, which raises the risk of getting cancer.

2. Mental Health

This refers to people emotional and cognitive wellbeing. An individual with sound mental health does not suffer from any form of mental disorder. WHO defined mental health as a state of wellbeing whereby a person can cope with the life’s normal stresses, realizes his or her abilities, can work fruitfully and productively, and can make a contribution to his or her society or community (WHO, 2016).

Determinants of health

An individual’s health and their communities are affected by several contributory factors. The good and bad health of people is determined by their situations and their environments. That is what has happened and what is happening to them. According to WHO, the factors that have a bigger impact on people health that use and access of health care services include the state of people environments, where people live, individuals income, genetics, relationship with family and friends and an individual’s education level.

The main determinants of health according to WHO are the country’s economy and society, that’s is the economic and social environment. Another determinant is where people live; that is the physical environment. Lastly, what people do and what they are, that is an individual’s behaviors and characteristics. Most of the factors contributing to people’s bad or good health are out of people control. These determinants or factors, according to WHO, include the following:

Socio-economic status– the higher an individual’s socioeconomic status is, the higher likelihood of the person enjoying good health. According to Ojeda (2004), socioeconomic status affects family members, including the newborn babies. Ojeda (2004) further observed that mothers from lower socio-economic status have a lower likelihood of breastfeeding well their newborn babies. This is an important factor that will impact on their babies’ health.

Education– according to Nordqvist (2015), generally people with low education levels have a higher risk of having poor health. Their stress levels will be higher most probably, than the individuals with higher academic qualifications. Moreover, an individual with high education level will likely have greater self-esteem.

Physical environment– if the air people breathe is pure, water taken is safe and clean, the houses are safe and comfortable, the workplaces are healthy, there is a higher likelihood of enjoying good health compared to people whose air they breathe is contaminated, water supply is not safe or clean and the workplace is unhealthy (Blaxter, 2004).

Employment conditions and job prospects– statistics indicates that people who have jobs are more likely to enjoy better health compared to the unemployed people. Similarly, if a person has some control over your conditions of working, they will benefit health wise too (Henningfeld, 2009).

Support from people around– according to Nordqvist (2015), a person having family support as well as community and friend’s support, his or her chances of enjoying good health are higher compared to someone who has no support from the family, friends and the community

Culture– the customs and traditions of a community or a society and the response of a family to these traditions play a significant part in the health of people. The effect could either be bad or good health. For instance, the genital mutilation tradition of women has an effect on mental health and the infection rates of millions of women and girls in many nations (Nordqvist, 2015).

Genetic inheritance– the people’s health in general, longevity, and predisposition to some diseases are determined partially by their genetic makeup (Blaxter, 2004)

What people do and how they manage– people’s physical activity, what they eat and whether a person drinks or smoke or take drugs, and how people cope with stress play a significant role in people’s mental and physical wellbeing (Ojeda, 2004).

The use and access to health services– according to Nordqvist (2015), a society that uses and has access to good quality health services has a higher likelihood of enjoying better health compares to a society that does not have access. For instance, developed national with universal health care services for their people have longer life expectations that the developing nations that do not have.

Gender– women and men are susceptible to different disease, physical experiences and conditions that play a role in their general health. For instance, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and childbirth only affect women, while testicular cancer and prostate cancer only affects men. Similarly, in some societies, women does not access education compared to men, and education is a significant factor influencing health (Nordqvist, 2015).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the paper discussed health. The paper discussed two aspects of health; that is physical and mental health. Furthermore, it highlighted determinants of health such as socioeconomic status, physical environment, education, employment conditions and job prospects, gender, support from people around, genetic inheritance, culture, what people do and how they manage, and the use and access to health services

References

Blaxter, M. (2004). Health. Cambridge, UK, Malden, MA, Polity.

Henningfeld, D. A. (2009). Health. Detroit, Greenhaven Press.

Nordqvist, C. (2015). What Is Health? What Does Good Health Mean?. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999.php [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016].

Ojeda, A. (2004). Health. San Diego, Calif, Thomson/Gale.

WHO, (2016). [online] Who.int. Available at: http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016].