What is health? According to the World Health Organization’s constitution, “Health is the right of every human being to live a long, healthy life”. This basic right applies to all people without distinction of race, religion, political belief, or economic or social condition. The definition of health also includes the ability to change an environment for better or for worse. Many nation states have endorsed the right to health as part of their constitution. This means that they are legally obliged to provide timely and affordable health care and to provide for the determinants of health.
The World Health Organization defines health as complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Promoting health involves reducing harmful activities and avoiding situations that cause or contribute to disease. While some factors contribute to physical and mental well-being, others can be caused by structural conditions. In promoting overall health, it is important to identify which factors influence a person’s health and how they can affect their wellbeing. It’s also important to understand that the concept of “health” can be subjective.
Health is a fundamental resource that supports daily life. It encompasses social, emotional, and physical capacities. Those with good physical health are more likely to be productive, and satisfied in their jobs and relationships. However, mental and emotional health is not the same as physical or mental health. They often overlap, but differ in their emphasis on the physical aspects. For example, some factors are a result of personal choices, while others are structural.