People are often unsure of what constitutes good health. They attribute some of it to luck or their family history, while others put it down to their lifestyle. The truth is that lifestyle has a great deal to do with health, including what we eat, how we exercise, and how much stress we put on ourselves. Generally, health is considered to be a complex system. But the goal is always to improve our health and well-being for the sake of our future.
A person’s health can be measured in many ways, including laboratory findings and the presence or absence of symptoms. It is important to consider the context of a person’s health when discussing it, as this will help inform the way doctors address it. For example, a patient may be considered to be healthy if he or she is physically healthy, but may still have a heart condition if he or she has an abnormal heart rhythm.
In 1948, the WHO defined health as “a state of well-being that is free from disease.” Today, a larger percentage of Americans are over 65 years of age and 617 million people around the world. The transformation in disease definitions and treatment methods only serve to magnify the dissonance between the experience of long life and the definition of health. For this reason, a better definition of health is needed. And it’s time to stop trying to define health in a general manner.
The definition of ‘good health’ differs from place to place. For example, a fragile individual could suffer a heart attack while shoveling snow in the mountains, while a sea level dweller would experience shortness of breath or anemia if they are in the mountains. The definition of health must be flexible enough to account for these differences. If it is not, we might as well redefine the term to fit our lifestyle and environment.
Social determinants of health include economic, political, cultural, and environmental factors. These factors shape the way we live, age, and work, and often interact with each other. The consequences of these factors can have a significant effect on our health. But we should also acknowledge that the health of those who have the most money and power are largely determined by the economic, social, and political conditions. If we can’t address these social determinants of health, we will never have a healthy society.
The World Health Organization’s Constitution recognises health as a fundamental human right. Health inequalities are systematic and avoidable differences in health outcomes. They can occur among population groups and across social classes. For example, it is possible to observe health inequalities in a society if the DALYs of the population vary considerably based on socioeconomic status. The Millennium Development Goals, on the other hand, reflect the greatest challenges to human development around the world.