The Three Definitions of Health

There are several definitions of health. In the medical model, health is the absence of disease. In the biopsychosocial model, health encompasses the physical, psychological, and social dimensions of life. The World Wide Organisation has declared that “health is a state of complete well-being”. But is this too ambitious? What are the defining factors of health? And should we consider these factors in choosing a medical profession? Let’s look at each definition in turn.


According to the World Health Organization, health is the capacity to adapt to an environment. It refers to the body’s capacity to maintain homeostasis and recover from adverse events. It also refers to mental and emotional well-being, the ability to cope with stress, and the capacity to acquire and maintain relationships. Among the many types of health, there are different aspects that determine one’s quality of life. Taking steps to promote health is essential for our overall well-being.

A third definition of health must take into consideration individual choices. The goal is to reduce health-damaging factors and increase the capacity to live a happy and healthy life. The goals of this definition should involve involving individuals in the process, and take into account various scales of values. If people value their health, they will be more likely to engage in preventive measures and seek treatment for illness. That way, a more comprehensive view of health can be achieved.