The Definition of Health

Over the years, different definitions of health have been used. Throughout the centuries, many people have used the term differently. Today, the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete well-being that is free from disease or infirmity.” Other definitions vary, but all have one thing in common: good health means living without disease or infirmity. A person who is healthy is generally happy, feels well and is not worried about anything.


A broader definition of health focuses on physical capacity and mental strength. Emotional health is the ability to adapt to stress. Social and personal resources play a critical role in maintaining overall well-being. And, as with physical health, mental and social resources are vital for overall well-being. In addition to physical and mental well-being, health also involves the ability to manage stress and maintain homeostasis. This means that health is a resource for everyday life.

The World Health Organization defines health as a state of physical, mental and social well-being, excluding disability and chronic illness. In addition to this, the definition of health does not take into account the complexities of the human body and the existence of chronic diseases and disabilities. Further, it fails to account for a person’s ability to cope with stress. Hence, it is not always possible to have complete health all the time. It is important to acknowledge that many people do not achieve complete wellness all the time.