Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition that “is not only the absence of illness and infirmity but the maintenance of the maximum level of healthfulness for an individual at any given time.” A wide variety of definitions have also been used over the years for different purposes. For the purposes of this article, however, health is considered a state of total healthiness.
There are many things that are regarded as illnesses or physical disorders, and some are even classified as diseases. Examples of illnesses or diseases are arthritis, anemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, genital warts, leukemia, and various forms of cancer. When it comes to absence of disease, cancer and heart disease are clearly absent, as they are treatable through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and other means. Physical disorders, such as arthritis, anemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, genital warts, and leukemia, are treatable through medicine, though not necessarily with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.
When it comes to diseases and disorders, absence of physical environment plays a crucial role. People who live in an environmentally contaminated environment are more likely to contract diseases, as compared to those who do not. The lack of clean water and hygiene causes bacteria to proliferate, which in turn leads to various types of infections. This can also lead to lack of overall healthiness. For example, people who bathe in contaminated water are more likely to contract gastrointestinal illnesses than people who do not.
In addition to physical environment, psychological factors also play a major role in one’s health status. People who are happy, healthy, and balanced emotionally are less likely to get sick, and are more likely to enjoy a good health status. Environmental factors, on the other hand, are more influential in terms of their contribution to one’s mental health. Stress is known to contribute to both physical and mental health problems. However, the role of stress in relation to mental health has not been clearly defined.
Overall health refers to a person’s ability to function normally in all aspects of life. Mental health refers to one’s ability to enjoy a good physical well-being. Psychological factors like self-esteem, optimism, and support from others have been known to affect physical well-being. These factors may account for why people who are physically healthy live longer than those who are morbidly ill.
Poor nutrition and insufficient sleep or rest could also be termed as environmental factors that negatively affect one’s overall health and well-being. In terms of medical care, poor sleep and no relaxation could reduce one’s ability to fight depression and could increase the odds of developing hypertension. Depression can also cause fatigue, which in turn can affect physical well-being. A healthy weight and high levels of physical activity help in fighting depression and maintaining good health. Regular exercise is an effective means of improving mood, as well as, decreasing the odds of developing any of these conditions.