What Is Health?

The World Health Organization defines health as “complete physical and mental well-being.” Its constitution came into force on April 7, 1948. It includes not only physical health, but also social and mental wellbeing. It emphasizes the link between health and participation in society. In other words, health is about more than the absence of disease. In other words, it includes all aspects of life. However, the term “health” is often distorted, especially when it is used to describe only one dimension of life.

The World Health Organization defines health as “the right to live a healthy life, free of preventable disease and in good physical and mental health.” It refers to the ability to maintain homeostasis and recover from adverse events. Mental health refers to the ability to cope with stress and acquire skills, while emotional health is the state of being emotionally and psychologically stable. People in poorer areas have lower quality of life. Therefore, the World Wide Web describes health as “a balance between personal and social resources”.

The ‘complete health’ view of health is too narrow. No one is entirely healthy all the time. Such a view is counterproductive and overlooks the existence of chronic illnesses and disabilities, which affect one’s quality of life. Furthermore, it contributes to the overmedicalisation of our society. For example, people who are physically active tend to have better health than those who do not. And people with disabilities have a lower quality of life, and they need a high-quality of life.