Challenges to Developing a Definition of Health

A definition of health is difficult to develop if we don’t take a holistic view of the human body. It should encompass not just the physical features of health, but also the mental and social dimensions of the individual’s life. This definition, like many others, must consider the entire life span and the varying environments that people live in. In order to be relevant, the definition must be flexible enough to allow for these differences. The following are some common challenges faced by societies in different parts of the world.


The concept of ‘complete health’ is highly unrealistic and unhelpful in the long term. It fails to take into account the many aspects of disability and chronic illness and is ultimately counterproductive. In addition, it is also a flawed view of health and is likely to lead to over-medicalisation of society. There are a number of problems with this concept. For example, it ignores the importance of physical activity, nutrition, and regular exercise in achieving total wellness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. This definition is broadly accepted and reflects many different cultures and countries. In particular, the World Bank describes health as a state of total physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Various activities and environments can promote health, while avoiding or reducing unhealthy ones can have a negative effect on a person’s quality of life.