Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an index of living conditions affecting a person’s health and well being through the measurement of health-related quality of life based on criteria of health-related behaviour, health status and state of health, and specific medical issues.” Various definitions have been utilized over time for various purposes. In a very broad sense, health can be defined as a state of well being. An important part of this definition is that “health” includes both physical and mental aspects. Mental health, in particular, has often been referred to as one of the essential aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wellness is related to the following four areas: physical health, geriatric, family health, and environmental health. The goal of all these areas is to promote the overall health of the population. These four facets are related to how the public views and assesses their health. When people view their health in this context, they are more likely to accept preventive measures, take recommended health-risk factors into account when making decisions, and monitor their health to avoid disease or acquire a disease that may already be too late.
Good health conditions are also linked to physical well-being. These are associated with the four facets of wellness, as well as an individual’s ability to adapt to his environment. Physical well-being refers to a person’s capacity to live a normal and uncomplicated life and cope with typical everyday physical activities. The ability to move around and maintain one’s self-respect is an essential element of good health. Mental well-being is linked to one’s capacity to learn, to solve problems, and to cope with emotional distress. These mental aspects are vital components of good health.
Another way to look at the relationship between environment and health is through the perspective of disability. People with disabilities have higher risks of acquiring physical illness than the average person. This may lead to more serious illness over a period of time and may even lead to death. A combination of physical illness and disability can lead to poor health conditions. Emotional illness is connected to mental health conditions, and is often accompanies physical illness.
The challenge for any society is to promote wellness and address health problems on all fronts. Healthy lifestyles are important not only for the individual but also for the community. A healthy population is associated with a high quality of life, and low infant and child mortality. Community health is an important aspect of a healthful lifestyle and is affected by the physical environment. A healthy environment ensures that infirmities are prevented, and that communities are safe from infection and disease.
The challenges faced by Americans with Illness and Disability are enormous. The statistical analysis done by the U.S. Census Bureau has proven that Americans with Illness and Disabilities are living longer than the average population. However, at every point in time, Americans with Illness and Disabilities are struggling to afford their medical expenses. Lack of access to health insurance, higher premiums and fewer doctors and hospitals can lead to disastrous consequences for families. Creating a just and healthy lifestyle and addressing health care needs are necessary to alleviate the suffering of Americans with Illness and disabilities.