There are several definitions of health, including physical, mental, and social. A healthy lifestyle can be promoted by increasing the number of health-promoting activities and minimizing those that are harmful to the body. A person’s health may also be influenced by the values placed on it by their social environment. Some of these values may be social or individual in nature, while others may be the result of structural factors. In any case, promoting health is a good goal for anyone.
To define health, consider the context in which it occurs. People who live in a warm climate may not be able to perform heavy shovelling, while people living at sea level might experience shortness of breath and anemia when they visit the mountains. In these cases, the definition of good health must consider the effects of the changing environment on a person’s health. In some cases, good health might also be defined as being free from disease, but this is not always the case.
Changing the place of health on values cannot be accomplished by the health sector alone. Our values are shaped throughout our lives, and are influenced by parents, teachers, friends, schools, media, and the laws that govern our lives. Changing our values to promote health requires the involvement of all stakeholders, including society at large, such as the public, the private sector, and our peers. A change in values will promote health and improve the quality of life for everyone.