Health is a condition where disease and infirmity are either absent or the threat of getting afflicted is minimal. A number of definitions have been applied to health over the years. One school of thought in medical circles is that health is the sum of the three aspects of body, mind and spirit. With the advent of modern technology and the industrial revolution, people have found more reasons to adopt this view.
This definition of good health is most often associated with those diseases and conditions that are perceived to be fatal to an individual. Hence, it includes death and terminal illness. This definition excludes common diseases like the cold, cough and influenza that are usually prevalent in any community. It also omits other common illnesses like arthritis, tuberculosis, skin disorders and birth defects which affect a large section of the population.
The third definition of health maintains that health is the absence of disease. It does not define what the disease looks like or how it feels. In simple terms, this is equivalent to saying that health is the absence of anything which may cause harm to the body. It further goes on to state that a healthy individual is one who does not suffer from pain and discomfort. This is almost a definition of death, since there is no pain or discomfort associated with it.
Wellness has recently gained wider recognition as a concept which is associated with the concepts of personal responsibility and the environment. It has also come into vogue as a potential approach to understanding the causation and prevention of common diseases like cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity. Research indicates that those who are surrounded by unhealthy people and high stress environments are at a higher risk of getting sick and getting affected by sicknesses. Moreover, the lack of social connections and poor nutritional intake of foods rich in fat, sugar and salt, and the lack of exercise lead to a sedentary lifestyle which is conducive for disease and poor well-being.
A better understanding of what public health services is necessary to address the increasing numbers of diseases affecting the population, has helped to promote the concept of wellness beyond the health care industry. The increased interest in the public health sphere has led to the promotion of preventative measures. These include but are not limited to, measures to address the causes of disease, the teaching of good nutrition and the introduction of improved lifestyles. In addition, there are employment development services, educational programs on healthy living, and programs aimed at addressing workplace violence against personnel.
The definition of health promotion has changed the way people think about their own health and their relation to the environment. It encourages individuals to lead a healthy lifestyle and to take responsibility for their health. It also encourages individuals to be active in public programs that promote healthy living. By promoting a positive concept of health and illness, it makes it easier for individuals to get together and work towards finding a cure for every type of disease. The definition of health promotion has changed the way people think about their own health and has encouraged them to take responsibility for their own health.