The term ‘health’ has a number of different meanings, and it is difficult to narrow down what each meaning means. In general, health is considered to be a state of full physical, mental and emotional well-being, and not just the absence of illness and disease. Various definitions have also been used over time for various purposes.
One definition, used by the World Health Organization (WHO), is, “Health is the sum of the whole life quality”. By this definition, a person’s health is reflective of his ability to enjoy life, and his capacity to contribute to his community, family, society, and world. Another broad definition is given by the WHO; it states, “Health is the sum of the good life quality”. According to this definition, a person’s quality of health is reflected in his ability to enjoy bodily and emotional well-being and to contribute to his or her community, family, society, and the world at large. An additional broad definition is provided by Martha McClintock in her book, Healthy Age: Creating an Equity Vision for Age at Risk (New York, Oxford University Press, 2021).
In this day and age, even definitions of health have undergone major changes. A few years ago, obesity was considered to be a serious disease, now it is considered to be just a lifestyle problem. It is important to note, however, that even if diseases like diabetes, heart problems, and various forms of cancer are no longer considered to be fatal unless they are left untreated, a healthy lifestyle can still prevent many such diseases.