What Is Health? The Importance of Healthy Life
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition “of full physical, emotional and social well being and not the absence of sickness or infirmity.” Different definitions have been applied over the years for various purposes. The definition of health has changed with changes in technology, perceptions and changes in culture.
A good place to begin understanding the definition of health is to understand what it is not. The following health terms are not encompassed within the definition of health equity in Franklin County. These include: personal disability, chronic illness and disability, life expectancy and mortality, morbidity and mortality. Many people have heard these words before, but they may have different meanings in various settings.
Healthy life expectancy is a very broad concept that refers to the average life expectancy of an adult. Living healthy is about managing disease, injury, disease processes and preventing illness as effectively as possible. This definition of healthy differs from life expectancy, which refers to the ability to handle normal day-to-day activities even under significant stress. Although many people live long into old age, healthy life styles have been shown to extend life.
morbidity refers to death and morbidity. This can be both preventable and controllable through prevention and treatment. The third definition of healthy can also refer to conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other illnesses. Health is normally measured by how well we cope with illnesses and disease, but we must also take into consideration the quality of life that is achieved as well as the future outlook for health.
Disease processes are any abnormal process or form of cell death within the body that results in death. They occur in all tissues and organs and can involve any number of pathological mechanisms. The absence of a particular disease process or mechanism does not necessarily indicate the absence of a disease but instead the absence of some type of beneficial effect. If we look at cancer, for example, cancer is a result of the absence of a specific pathway or response. Cancer can arise from genetic abnormalities, environmental causes, or other mechanisms.
There are numerous definitions for healthy, but the above three are the most common. They provide the framework for evaluating the quality of life and its importance to society. In order to achieve optimal health policy, public health officials must incorporate these definitions into public health programs and services. In addition, the definition of health will continue to change as the focus continues to shift to prevention and better outcomes for patients and their families. By incorporating the above into future planning, public health officials can help to create a community that is free of debilitating disease processes and can help to realize optimal potential for longevity.