What is good health can be a question of debate by health practitioners.
The most comprehensive and widely held view of what is good health has been defined by the World Health Organisation – “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It is generally broken down into parts; physical and mental health. Find out more about what determines good health and how you can live an improved and enhanced lifestyle.
What are the determinants of good health?
The World Health Organisation has identified that many factors come together to determine the health of individuals and communities and it is determined to a large extent by our circumstances and environment. The determinants of health include the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and the person’s individual characteristics and behaviours. More specifically, key factors include:
- Income and social status – not surprisingly, a higher income and social status have been linked to better health.
- Education – low education levels are linked to poor health.
- Physical environment – clean water and air as well as safe communities and workplaces that promote wellbeing all contribute to good health.
- Social support networks – support from families, friends and communities are linked to good health.
- Customs – customs and traditions, and the beliefs of the family and community all affect health.
- Genetics – your family’s medical history plays a large part in determining how healthy you will be; your lifespan, likelihood of developing certain illnesses, personal behaviour and coping mechanisms.
- Health services – the access and the type of services that you use can influence good health.
- access and use of services that prevent and treat disease influences health
- Gender – whether you’re a man or a woman will play a part in your health as each gender suffers from different diseases at different ages.
How can I improve my health?
As mentioned above, your quality of life and other factors can contribute directly to good or alternative poor health. If you are in a toxic work situation or a bad relationship, this can also result in poor emotional health and also lead to poor physical health. This is sometimes referred to as the mind/body/spirit connection. To improve both your physical and mental health, follow these basic tips:
- Have annual health checks or as per directed by your doctor.
- Maintain good dental hygiene and have a dental check up every six months.
- Get a good night rest every night.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a balanced diet.
- Drink plenty of water.
The definition for what is good health has changed over the decades as doctors and health practitioners have found through research what is and isn’t conducive to good health. People today are living longer today than a century ago due to improved medical knowledge. As medical breakthroughs continue to continue, the health industry further evolves and communities improve, people will lead longer, healthier and happier lives.