The word health has a complex meaning, with varying definitions. It refers to an individual’s ability to survive and thrive in the daily grind, and is also a result of an individual’s social, environmental, and personal resources. While some people attribute their good health to their genetic makeup, others say that their lifestyles are directly related to their physical state. For example, personal health includes an individual’s ability to exercise and cope with daily stresses. It is important to remember that a healthy person is a happy person who is able to enjoy his or her life to its fullest.
The WHO’s 1948 definition of health includes the absence of disease, but in today’s world, this definition is no longer useful. We can’t expect everyone to be fully well all the time, and such a ‘complete health’ definition can actually be counterproductive and lead to an overmedicalized society. This approach also ignores the importance of social conditions and lifestyle, and therefore is not appropriate for measuring health in a community.
The WHO defines health as the absence of disease. It suggests that the definition is no longer relevant. As most people do not experience total wellness all the time, it is counterproductive. It does not account for the fact that many people live with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Moreover, it contributes to over-medicalisation of society and ignores a range of important factors that influence health. In short, a person who is ill is not healthy.
The World Health Organization’s constitution came into effect in 1948. It defines health as complete physical and mental well-being. It also acknowledges that diseases have a tendency to sabotage our efforts to improve people’s health. Hence, the constitution encourages communities to adopt a holistic view of health. It is the aim of the organization to make the world healthier, and this is why they have adopted a comprehensive framework for defining health.
Despite the widespread adoption of the WHO’s definition of health, the concept of complete wellbeing is not realistic. No one will be entirely healthy at all times. It is often counterproductive, as it fails to account for chronic illnesses and disabilities. And it contributes to over-medicalisation of society. But it does not mean that there is no way to define health. In addition, defining health as having the right mental and physical qualities is not enough. Rather, people need to be able to adapt to the changing conditions and environments they live in.
In 1948, the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined health as a state of complete physical and mental well-being. By contrast, the concept of health today has several facets, including an individual’s ability to adapt to changes, and to cope with stressful situations. Some of these factors are due to individual choice and some are structural. As a result, the World’s definition of health has changed over the years. It no longer focuses solely on disease prevention.