The lay perspective on health is a synthesis of the clinical and philosophical perspectives on health. The first two definitions are concerned with the aetiology and the causes of disease. The third is a more holistic view that focuses on the meaning of health as a means of living. In this definition, health is considered an object to be valued and an object of action. The latter demonstrates the relationship between health and the ability to participate in society.
The second definition is based on the World Health Organization’s definition of health. The WHO considers health to be a human right, emphasizing physical, social, and emotional capacities. Promoting health is achieved through the encouragement of healthy activities, the reduction of unhealthy ones, and the avoidance of harmful situations. Although all these aspects affect one’s health, certain factors are genetic, environmental, and social. The third definition is more abstract and includes factors that can affect our wellbeing.
The first definition of health was developed in 1948 by the World Health Organization. It included a range of factors, including physical, mental, and social capacity. According to Huber et al., the term “health” no longer fits the purpose it served. Instead, the focus of health should be on adaptability, self-management, and resilience. The goal is to promote a state of health that enhances human capabilities. If you are healthy, you can enjoy life to the fullest.
This conception of health is not realistic and may actually lead to detrimental effects. Only a few people are fully healthy all the time. It also fails to account for the impact of chronic diseases and disabilities, and a ‘complete health’ view contributes to the medicalisation of our society. In addition to being unrealistic, this view is based on a very narrow definition. The world’s most popular conception of health is that you should enjoy the best possible life. But despite this, it is not always possible.
In the 21st century, the medical model became widely accepted. It defined health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. The World Health Organisation has stated that “health is not just the absence of disease. It is a state of complete well-being”. This concept has become the basis for many definitions of health. The term health is a broader term and encompasses a range of factors.
The definition of health can be complicated. In the simplest definition, health is the absence of disease. If the only way to be healthy is to prevent or treat diseases, then promoting it would involve eliminating or reducing the incidence of disease. But the word “health” can be defined in many different ways. For example, it can be viewed as a state of being healthy, but in a more complex sense, it can also include a person’s ability to adapt to and manage various conditions in their daily life.