The Definition of Health

A definition of health has been used by the WHO since 1948. It initially consisted of the absence of disease, but recent studies have shown that this definition is no longer fit for purpose. According to Huber and colleagues, a more accurate and realistic definition of health will focus on the ability to adapt, self-manage, and be resilient to various factors that affect health. But what should this definition look like? What are the best practices? And what do we do when we are unsure about our own health?

Since 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted the concept of health as a fundamental human right. According to the constitution, the right to health is the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health for all people, without distinction of race, political belief, or economic situation. Several nation states have ratified the right to health by making it a part of their constitution. This makes them legally responsible for safeguarding health and providing for the determinants of health.

The Ottawa charter defines health as the object of everyday life, a means of living, and a resource for achieving wellness. It emphasizes the connection between health and participation in society. However, not everyone meets this definition. For instance, some individuals will be in the second group but function normally within their age and gender groups. This is an example of how the definition of health varies by age. So, a good definition of health includes the characteristics of an individual.