The Definition of Health


What is good health? Health can be defined in many ways, and it depends on the context. For example, a mountaineering lifestyle can cause shortness of breath and heart attack for a fragile person. A sea level dweller may have a lack of energy and anemia in a city, but can experience anaemia and shortness of breath in the mountains. The definition of health must accommodate these variations. This article explores several approaches to health and wellness.

The World Health Organization defines ‘health’ as a state of complete physical and mental wellbeing, free from disease and infirmity. While ‘complete health’ may sound ideal, it does not reflect reality. People with diabetes have to take medication for their condition, while people with back pain undergo physiotherapy. These treatments aren’t ‘complete health’ at all. In fact, these individuals are not ‘completely’ healthy. In addition, this view of health contributes to an overmedicated society.

The definition of “health” has many forms. There are quantitative measures of health, such as the likelihood of imminent disease. These measurements can be found in textbooks about clinical medicine and diagnosis. In addition to these measurements, a health examination will likely include a series of tests. Some tests are more descriptive than quantitative, and others can detect a disease in a seemingly healthy person. Some of the more common measures of health are those outlined in the definition of health.