Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “the condition of being fit and fine, which includes physical, mental, social and economic well-being.” Different definitions have been applied over the years. Generally speaking, health is considered to be something that we do as a whole rather than focusing on a specific area or element. The word “life” is often times removed from the equation. In this way, health is seen to be a state of total life, rather than a series of symptoms or disorders.
There are many causes of health conditions, some of which can be prevented. For the most part, however, it is inevitable that some illnesses will occur. Some of these are associated with bad lifestyle choices. Although the word “lifestyle” is thrown around a lot, the emphasis should really be placed on habits or behaviors. The individual’s perception of his or her own health status, their stress levels, and their medical history are the factors that affect health.
One major factor in keeping oneself physically healthy is good health habits or behaviors. These can include a balanced diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking and other tobacco use, reducing the use of drugs, maintaining weight loss, and watching one’s weight and regularly monitoring body weight. Consistent exercise and good nutrition have long been recognized factors in maintaining well-being. This also reduces illness and saves money spent on doctor bills and prescription medications.
Poor psychological health can result from trauma, abuse, depression, or illness. When a person experiences any of these factors, he or she may be suffering from a mental health issue. Mental health issues can include mood disorders, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. People who are suffering from these mental health issues may need additional mental health care such as psychotherapy, medication, and support. Mental health care includes counseling sessions with a qualified professional to determine the cause of the mental health issue, develop effective treatment plans, and ensure ongoing support.
Poor physical health can result from an illness, injury, or surgery. Conditions that result from a physical injury include chronic pain, paralysis, permanent disability, and long-term disability. Illness and surgery can negatively impact well-being. However, there are some individuals who develop mental illnesses that require special attention.
Public health and physical sciences research have helped to identify many diseases and conditions that exist among certain groups of people. This research has identified several groups that have a higher risk for particular diseases and conditions. For example, certain groups of people, especially those with disabilities, have higher rates of heart disease and diabetes. In addition, studies have shown that certain types of cancer are more common among people with disabilities. Public health and physical sciences research have helped to identify these diseases and conditions as well as develop preventative measures that can help to lower the risk of their development.